Posted by: Adam Deane | 11/05/2011

Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit 2011

ConferencesEnterprise Architecture conferences used to be about SOA.
BPM, if mentioned, was kindly asked to sit at the kids table.
(BPM should be seen, but not heard)
This year the tables have turned. SOA was hardly mentioned. BPM is the now EA’s favourite son.

Gartner completed a successful EA Summit here in London.

Kudus to the organisers. They searched and searched and searched and searched and searched and searched…
And in the end the found it: the only venue in London that doesn’t have mobile phone coverage.
So people needed to walk up to street level to read their emails.
I think the most repeated word used on the stairs was: bugger!

We had the regular conference gripes. It was cold in the conference rooms and hot in the vendor showcase area.
As there was no breakout area, people used the hotel lobby.
IBM, knowing that the venue would serve crappy coffee, brought an espresso machine to their stand, and boy was there a queue…

But enough whining…
The real reason people go to these conferences is because of the content & speakers.

Conference Speakers. They need to be able to stand in front of a crowd, articulate their message, combine the obvious with new trends, provide survey results to backup the message, and finish with recommendations, required actions, and roapmaps.

Elise Olding gave a good session on BPM and EA, highlighing the benifits of using BPM in EA: Visibility, responsibility, adaptability, accountability and presented a framework for EA and BPM.
I was actually hoping that she would be talking about “change management”, which I think EAs should be involved in.

Guest speaker Gabe Zichermann gave a great presentation on Gamification.
Although probably irrevalant to most of the EAs, it was a terrific subject, interesting and eye opening.

But the the session I found most interesting was Betsy Burton’s keynote.
EA should move away from the traditional “IT-business alignment” message, and instead focus on “business growth” and “business planning” otherwise they’ll be seen as a cost centre.

I agree. Most of the EAs that I talked to during the conference came from companies that have “grown too fast” (usually due to acquisitions of other companies).
Their problem – how to deal with disparate systems, procedures, processes in the different companies.
They were looking for ways to organise the chaos… “Growth Management”.

She went on to explain that EAs are seen as part of the IT “box”, they need to get out of that box and engage more with the business.
I liked her message to the EAs: “There are no IT projects – only business projects”

My personal opinion: Growth Management and Change Management will be the EAs next frontier.


  1. We have been at the kids’ table too long. It is exciting to get into the business.

  2. I agree that the whole theme of visibility, responsibility, adaptability and accountability is core to every company that wants to manage where they are, much less organic growth or growth by acquisition, but my experience tells me that the market hasn’t adopted this for the majority yet. The social wave that is coming is going to push the visibility and adaptability aspects very soon.

    I wasn’t able to make the conference, so thanks for the blog.

  3. I was there – a very concise summary though the air conditioning was certainly not working in our conference room. 3 floors underground was indeed a bit extreme and 12mbs for the wifi?!
    Agree re Betsy’s presentation in fact I found that the best of the lot.

  4. Thanks for the summary Adam. Was not able to get to Gartner Conference this year. I want to hear about how BPM improved the Value Added component of a given business and how BPM engaged employees better.

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