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Enterprise architecture: Looking back at 2010 and forward to 2011

We've seen a lot of topics and technologies interacting in 2010. From enterprise architecture to business process management, mainframes to the cloud, and even security issues.

We've seen a lot of topics and technologies interacting in 2010. From enterprise architecture to business process management, from mainframes to the cloud, and even security issues.

The role of the enterprise architect varies from an extension of the IT department to the business side's ambassador to IT. But, by nature of its definition, the enterprise architect will never be exclusively involved with one department or another. Business process management (BPM) technology has a role to play between business and IT as well. There are a number of ways that enterprise architects implement BPM.

And BPM is by no means the only concern for enterprise architects. As we move ever onward into a world that is dominated more and more by the Web, standards and requirements change. RESTful Web services are gaining in importance as we move on into the next computing era. Back in October we had the good fortune to talk over the trends in enterprise architecture with expert Tom Nolle, a private consultant with over 30 years experience in enterprise architecture.

Meanwhile, mainframe application modernization keeps legacy systems vital. The mainframe remains central to large-scale high-performance enterprise computing, and its ongoing transformation is among this year's notable SOA success stories. At one time, legacy mainframe applications resisted renewal -- teams sorted through spaghetti code and tried to rewrite systems not easily rewritten. Now it is very common for organizations to ably sort through their application portfolio, and transform what needs transforming via wrapped Web services.

While mainframes represent the tried and true – taking change slowly but stably – cloud computing technologies represent sweeping innovation – taking change to new heights and depths. And "cloud" is still coming to be defined and understood. Early this year, the trend was toward distributed data grids to speed up cloud applications.  Just recently, we got a different look at the trends in cloud computing moving into 2011. And in between then and now we got a couple different views on the state of cloud with SOA and on building scalable cloud applications.

And whether you're updating your legacy mainframe or building a brand new cloud, you've got to make sure the whole thing is secure. Although many teams leave security as an afterthought, it's very important to ensure your Web applications are secure and your end users (and their data) are safe. Securing Web applications means using secure Web services.

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