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6 Tech Trends That Enterprise Architects Should Focus On in 2012

If you are an enterprise architect, or otherwise influence the enterprise architecture of your organization, you are likely involved in a yearly cycle of EA Planning. In the best practices of EA, such cycles generally review the current state of Information Technology (your “as-is” IT portfolio) and develop a future state. The future state is the architecture plan of where you are going and what you are going to build; it’s analogous to a building architect’s plans and schedules for a building. The best architects are cognizant of the new methods, tools and materials at their disposal and the value these resources bring to the plan, as well as when and how to deploy them.


In this light, the enterprise architect will scan the industry analysts, the trade journals and the vendors for ideas and trends.  Here is my short list of six trends for 2012:


2012 Enterprise Architecture Strategy Considerations

1. Big Data – Databases of large magnitude are not uncommon anymore. I recall discussions at client sites only ten years ago lamenting how hard it was to handle terabytes of data. The physical constraints and cost of storage per unit is declining, and now we speak of exabytes and zettabytes of storage.  The data isn’t just traditional databases of the 3rd normalized form, but unstructured data, email, video, mobile, and much more.  Your future state architecture should consider tools, methods and infrastructure to support initiatives like access, de-duplication, appropriate backup and recovery, and retention strategy. Analytics and social media are a huge part of this. [Note to EAs: well-informed Information Architects are going to be your new best friend on this one.]

2. Data analytics – This adjunct to the big data discussion highlights the growing demand for data analytic tools, process, and access to data that has not been traditionally accessed.  Not only is the structured data valuable for analysis, so is what you can glean from social media or combinations of your data silos, marts and warehouses in the organization. If your cloud strategy is in place, have you considered providing a service to create a data snapshot for analysis? For example, the user selects the dataset service; the cloud service provisions the infrastructure and software and copies the snapshot for use; and the user pays for use, decommissioning and releasing the service when complete, and perhaps doing the same thing next month.

3. Consumerization of IT- As an EA, your focus has traditionally centered on what the business needs, and how to support it.  In the past, the “business architecture” was derived from key business stakeholders, and used to create the application, information, security and infrastructure architectures.  Consumerization of IT suggests a revision to that model by making IT responsive to its consumers, users and clients with content and solutions they expect, provisioned as Instant-On . It suggests a commoditization of IT products, and it suggests services offered as a menu of choices. The latter is competitive to that which they can purchase outside IT and which they can provision instantly. It suggests the consideration of the social media strategy. Consumerization of IT also suggests that a number of innovations are required to support these demands.

4. Mobility –Unless you are under a rock, you already see the influence of mobility on your future state architecture, and likely it is already a part of the current state architecture.  This year, however, mobility is no longer a bolt-on solution for email and texting in the enterprise.  It is being promoted by the consumer of IT as the preferred device for interactions through “apps.” “Bring your own device” or BYOD is becoming the norm rather than the exception. How will you handle lost devices that have sensitive data on board? [Hint: develop a remote wiping strategy, or limit access]. It’s unwise to ignore your unified communication strategy. Unified Communications as-a-service (UCaaS)* needs to be discussed as a strategy (see this Network World report: top 5 UC predictions for 2012).

5. Context-aware IT – Programmers and designers always consider the parameters of where their products are used, and by whom, but context awareness is a paradigm where new and existing products must be aware of, or capable of understanding, their operation based on the user’s intentions, location, history, tasks or other context-related information.  If I am a plant manager, my interface to technology will change as I use my mobile device in the factory or at home, or if I use my desktop.  As a mobile worker, I would like to enter my timesheet easily while I’m on the road, from a smartphone app, and have full access to reports and detailed data when I’m in the office.  It is deeper than this when one considers the implications for analytics, cloud service selection (the selection asking, “You chose a development platform last time, do you want the same thing now?”) or web-based client interactions.

6. Cloud Computing -  I see an interesting trend where the cloud is disappearing from the hot trends this year. I see this not as an omission, but an acknowledgment that the early adopters have a cloud strategy and have implemented some or part of it.  It is a part of the enterprise architecture more than ever, since the cloud services that are deployed need review for viability, efficiency, and renewal.  If you are operating a hybrid cloud, mixing traditional and cloud services, you have the opportunity to review the mix and put more or less in the cloud. Review your public cloud strategy.  For those organizations not invested in the benefits of cloud computing, you have the opportunity to align your direction to improve the service strategy, process, portfolio, culture and infrastructure to leverage the savings and agility of the Instant-On cloud solutions. (Learn how HP helped one company to build a cloud data center that improved service deployment time from three to five days previously to just 20 minutes today: 369 KB, PDF.)


Enterprise Architects…start your engines!


HP Strategic IT Advisory Services (SITAS) is prepared to assist you with enterprise architecture planning and design to improve your leverage of IT to support the consumers of IT.


Explore related content:

* HP CTO’s discuss IT trends

Transformation workshops and assessments to help you innovate your IT services

Probir Das(anon) | ‎02-13-2012 11:45 AM

I am thrilled that I found this article!You have really made your points clear and your material is easy to read because you have formatted it so well.  Thank you for your excellent work!

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About the Author
Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has del...
About the Author(s)
  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Craig Partridge is the WW strategy lead for HP Technology Services Networking group. His role now covers strategy for consulting, professional and support services. The major areas of focus are Mobility, UC, Cloud Networking and IPv6. All aligned to core HP networking solutions - simplified, secure, optimized and available.
  • Don has held roles with the business and marketing of consulting for HP. Currently he supports HP's Client and Microsoft Solutions and the emerging Mobility Consulting services. He holds a MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
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  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
  • Jordan owns the worldwide mobility portfolio for TS Network Consulting and is a OneHP Mobility ambassador. His expertise centers on mobility strategy, client and applications virtualization and enterprise mobility management technologies.
  • Eduardo Zepeda, WW TS Social Media Program Manager & Internal Communications for WW Technology Services Blogging on behalf of HP Technology Services (TS_Guest)
  • Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has delivered many successful architecture related services across business and government sectors in manufacturing, insurance, banking, oil, utilities, US state and federal governments. He is certified in TOGAF and IT Service Management.
  • Laura Cunningham is a CPA and business consultant with HP Technology Services Consulting. She helps CIOs and their teams bridge the gap between what the CIO wants and what the CFO requires by building a comprehensive business case that can withstand financial scrutiny.
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • Broad mix of experiences developed in more than 20 years of technology-driven innovation. Fascinated by changes triggered by mix of behavior, needs and technology. Bachelor in Theoretical Physics.
  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
  • Bill is the Principal Data Center Energy Technologist for HP Technology Services. Kosik is a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Building Energy Modeling Professional. He is responsible for research and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. He is currently a subject matter expert for the USGBC on the new LEED Data Centers, the EPA/DOE on unification of energy metrics, and the Green Grid on responding to the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers program. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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