The majority of innovative applications are focused on leveraging the new computing models – mobile, cloud, social and information or Big Data. We recently polled over 200 architects and developers and 67% of those polled identified mobile as a priority for their organization, 47% identified Big Data, 40% identified cloud, and 16% identified social applications. In fact, according to Gartner, these computing models are forming a nexus of forces to drive new business scenarios*.
What we are seeing among our customer base is that breakthrough innovation happens when applications tap into the synergy created by at least two (not just one) of these computing models and are tied back into their core enterprise systems. For instance –
- Echo Entertainment, which is in the hospitality and gaming industry, combined the power of Big Data and Mobile to increase the quality of its loyalty program signups. It identified ‘high rollers’ playing in the casino to its floor staff in real time using a mobile app that combined live data from the gaming systems with large amounts of historical data in backend databases to perform in-flight analytics.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains vast datasets of highly distributed information around water, air, waste, and natural resources. It combined the power of Big Data and Cloud by creating and hosting a publicly accessible API that made the data accessible to not only its partner state agencies but also external developers.
- Nemours Children’s hospital a leader in pediatric care combined the power of Social and Information to create ‘smart’ patient rooms. A patient’s arrival triggers an event that enables the system to automatically provision the room with the child’s favorite video games and other electronic entertainment. When a caregiver walks into the patient’s room, another event is triggered enabling the system to retrieve their information from the hospital’s HR system and display it on the room’s TV for immediate identification.
The key point and underpinning of these innovative applications is an event enabled service-oriented architecture. It makes sense, if you think about it. To be truly useful, mobile apps require access to the backend systems via a layer of services. Big Data needs services to deliver relevant and timely business data in order to perform useful analytics. Social applications require combining enterprise events with enterprise data and activity streams where data is delivered by data services. And Cloud requires strong service-oriented governance infrastructure both as a provider as well as consumer of services. Monolithic, client-server, 3-tier architectures cannot provide the extensibility, scalability and agility needed for such innovation.
*Source: Gartner, Inc., The Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information, Chris Howard, et al., June, 2012.