Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009

Gartner has nominated their top 10 strategic technologies for 2009. In priority order they are:

1. Virtualization
2. Business Intelligence
3. Cloud Computing
4. Green IT
5. Unified Communications
6. Social Software and Social Networking
7. Web Oriented Architecture
8. Enterprise Mashups
9. Specialized Systems
10. Servers – Beyond Blades

My primary interests in SOA and CEP are represented in items 7 and 2 respectively (with some applicability to 8).

Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence (BI), the top technology priority in Gartner’s 2008 CIO survey, can have a direct positive impact on a company’s business performance, dramatically improving its ability to accomplish its mission by making smarter decisions at every level of the business from corporate strategy to operational processes. BI is particularly strategic because it is directed toward business managers and knowledge workers who make up the pool of thinkers and decision makers that are tasked with running, growing and transforming the business. Tools that let these users make faster, better and more-informed decisions are particularly valuable in a difficult business environment

(emphasis added).  Complex Event Processing is a key enabling technology for real-time business intelligence. The ability to abstract “rules” out of data using analytics and then have those rules executed in real-time to match against “events” running around your enterprise bus is what will make BI achieve the needs of business to make informed decisions “faster”. Traditional BI where you feed data into a mammoth DWH and then analyse the results at some point later suffer from high latencies and reduced information currency. CEP can reduce these latencies from weeks or months down to seconds.

Web-Oriented Architectures. The Internet is arguably the best example of an agile, interoperable and scalable service-oriented environment in existence. This level of flexibility is achieved because of key design principles inherent in the Internet/Web approach, as well as the emergence of Web-centric technologies and standards that promote these principles. The use of Web-centric models to build global-class solutions cannot address the full breadth of enterprise computing needs. However, Gartner expects that continued evolution of the Web-centric approach will enable its use in an ever-broadening set of enterprise solutions during the next five years.

Recognition that SOA is more than just “Web Services”and that at least one other architectural paradigm is available to SOA implementers.

Interesting that BPM has dropped from the list after featuring in the previous two years. And SOA itself has not been mentioned since the list for 2006. It looks like SOA has become more business as usual – part of the IT “furniture” – as I predicted some time ago.


#1 Mark White on 10.29.08 at 1:44 pm

Hasn’t WOA been created due to SOA being “seen” by business users as a technical concept pushed by IT, wheras WOA exponds on the benefits to the end user. Usually staff or customers.

This is more a failure of IT professionals not positioning of SOA, and in particular vendors saying they are SOA enabled where in fact they just put some SOAP wrappers over the cobol api calls.

#2 Saul on 10.29.08 at 2:48 pm

In my opinion neither WOA nor SOA has come from the business side…they are both technical “inventions” and that is part of the problem. IT professionals have not positioned SOA well with the business.

My view is that WOA has been pitched as a “backlash” against SOA by people who have rebelled against the complexities of web services. But WOA does represent a different architectural approach to web services in that it embraces web technologies such as HTTP, proxies, caches, URLs, XML etc without adding the extra complexities of SOAP, WSDL and the whole web-services nightmare.

Bottom line is that I think there are many ways to implement SOA – web services represents one approach and WOA represents another approach. Fundamentally they are providing services for consumption by people or systems.

I have earlier written about this here:

#3 Mark White on 10.30.08 at 10:22 am

Agreed, the issue all IT professionals have is describing SOA in business speak.

So in turn, IT goes and creates some new terms – WOA, Composite application etc.. Do you think the latest incarnations of BPMS is also an SOA derivative?

#4 Saul on 10.30.08 at 7:37 pm

BPMS is not an SOA derivative. I view BPMS and SOA as being orthogonal but related in almost a symbiotic fashion.

BPMS are used to automate and/or manage business processes. Since most tasks involved in a business process these days involves some computer system, BPMS invariably requires some kind of integration. The old way of doing this was to hard-wire connections between your BPMS engine and your applications. Leading to tightly coupled, brittle processes that were impossible to change.

Using SOA to expose application functionality in a system independent manner allows BPMS to be layered over your SOA. The processes and the systems are then loosely coupled and easier to change.

Many people lose sight of what SOA is all about. SOA is not an end in itself. It really only has value if it is ised to support higher value functionality such as BPMS, BAM, Business Optimization etc. Doing BPM without SOA is foolish and doing SOA without BPM is probably pointless.

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