Usablenet at Gartner's Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit (AADI)

June 15, 2015

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit (AADI) in London. This was my first trip to the UK and I was excited to see the city but also excited to speak with technology leaders about innovative application development solutions and ideas. I was looking forward to hearing different viewpoints about app integration platforms and development methodologies at this conference.

The event was held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel in the Southbank area and had almost double the attendance of the previous year.  The list of IT professional attendees ranged from various banks and insurance corporations to large automotive companies and even the Council of the European Union.  The event featured a great lineup of speakers with a diverse mix of vendors and participants contributing.

Usablenet’s Chief Marketing Officer, Carin Van Vuuren and I spoke with attendees and vendors about current trends, common challenges and application strategy.  I had a few captivating conversations around efforts like Application Modernization (Cobol to Java), Hardware Modernization (mainframe to the cloud), and SOA Modernization (SOAP to REST).

One of the noteworthy sessions I attended was titled “Enabling Digital Business With a Mobile Integration Architecture” and was presented by Richard M. Marshall.  He started off speaking about how companies change direction too quickly or get attracted to the latest technology buzzword and don’t take the time to properly evaluate their long term multichannel strategy.  He supports creating a solid multichannel foundation to start with, whether you plan build in-house or find a partner to assist.  An API-based strategy supports future growth and web transports (such as HTTP, JSON, and REST) are dominating this space currently.  "Each endpoint, app and component has an ideal format and message size — a good mobile app integration platform should adapt automatically.”  He also spent some time talking about how it is important not to spend too much time trying to hire or train your internal teams to help with APIs but rather get a service oriented architecture in place even if that means working with an API partner to create these for your apps to consume.  This session resonated with me since "API Services” is one of our 4 key focus areas but also because I hear very similar challenges speaking to IT executives on a weekly basis.

Another session that I'm glad I attended was “HTML5 and the Web: Their Roles in Mobile, App Development and Digital Business” presented by David Mitchell Smith and Gene Phifer.  The web continues to evolve and its HTML5-centric capabilities are now in the mainstream. The future web is starting to be embraced by aggressive technology adopters, and will be the enabling technology for the future of digital business.  The speakers shared their top web myths and three particular points stood out to me: User experience doesn’t matter for internal use; Consumers should be treated differently from enterprise users; and IT has the skills to build good UX.  I also enjoyed the discussion about the Internet of Things and how it drives new access and information models. The new devices driven by the Internet of Things require new CX/UX paradigms for voice, motion and wearable devices.  This session covered a broad range of topics but I think I will end this blog with a quote from Gene that I wrote down - “The last best user experience a customer had on a website sets the bar for their future expectations.”

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