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I had the pleasure of attending the EAM2013 conference in Houten this year. The topic for the conference: “innovation through interconnection”. In my opinion, this took place on more than one level!
Of course, the topics of the sessions covered it in detail. But more importantly, people indeed (re)connected at the EAM conference. For me, the day had a feel of a reunion mixed with great content and inspiration for the next year.
As usual, the venue was great. For the first keynote from Cor Franke the main room filled up. With only a few seats left we discussed the merits and development of NORA, one of the most widely used reference architectures for (the Dutch) government. With a good discussions (both in the room as well as live on twitter, continued face to face over coffee) we set the tone for the rest of the day: good sessions, good discussions and a nice balance between academic rigor and practical relevance.
Some highlights and trends:
There is still talk about architects struggling to get (enough) management attention and support. However, we’ve taken big steps as a community to improve the situation. This is mainly due to focus on results rather than frameworks, and taking our circle of influence / interest into account when trying to “get shit done” (the GSD-paradigm has made its way into the enterprise architecture community too!) Paraphrasing Dijkstra, it is safe to say that “enterprise architecture is as much about frameworks as astronomy is about telescopes”
More attention for managing and using data in building a strong enterprise. The data-theme was covered / touched upon in several sessions but it was quite an inspiration to discuss it during the breaks with several people. Looking forward to the follow-up discussions!
In several sessions we saw discussions on the interplay between “how we get organized” (functional organization? Process focus?) and the way our IT-landscape is organized (SOA? Using cloud?). Compared to other years, there appeared to be less discussion about the IT-aspects and more about the business impact.
Not only on EAM, but also in twitter and the blogosphere we see a trend that more attention is given to the ‘soft skills’ of architects (“Should architects be more like Einstein or like Mandela?”). For more insights into this realm, check out “IT Savvy”!
Some other themes that made their way into EAM: OIAM as a framework for thinking about infrastructure architecture in a functional way, linking agile development to enterprise architecture, and the struggle of Ron Roozendaal to visualize the architecture on a massive (country) scale.
Overall, the day was an inspiration. A good lunch helped, and so did the funny “visual summaries” of the sessions in the main room by sketch artist Frank Los (check out his twitter feed to see some of them – in Dutch) but it was the excellent content that did it for me. Looking forward to EAM2014!
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