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It’s not easy being an enterprise architect. They go by many names. You may know them as an information architect or business analyst or that guy in IT. No matter what you refer to them as, their job is not easy.

Expecting the Unexpected

Enterprise architects (EA) not only have to deal with those of us who are on the cutting edge of new technologies, but large amounts of data, which are quickly taxing company servers, and challenging information management processes. To help us better understand the enterprise architect’s role, Forrester has released a report identifying The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014.

Empowered employees and big data are just two of the challenges EAs face. The cloud and prevalence of Internet apps have also impacted their responsibilities. There is no doubt that these technologies reap benefits for organizations, but unless its infrastructure can handle it, integrating emerging technologies can put a giant strain on a company.

Just as the Boy Scouts say, being prepared is your best defense. For EAs it’s best to know about the next big thing before your early adopters do. Successful organizations know that you can’t prevent new technologies from entering the enterprise, so it’s best to be proactive about supporting them rather than risk security by denying them.

Trends for Enterprise Architects

According to Forrester, enterprise architects expect to see the most change in their organization where business intelligence is concerned. Mobile apps and application platforms also ranked high and were highlighted as areas where EAs expect to see the most business value between now and 2014.

With this insight, Forrester gathered its trending technologies for the next few years as it always does: by accounting for business and IT impact, newness and complexity. Sorted into four technology categories: Application platforms, integration, infrastructure and operations, and mobile computing, Forrester has put together a pretty impressive list of trends.

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Putting it All Together

Should you print out this list and hand it to your C-suite or IT department? Maybe. While these are topics to strongly consider, they are different for every organization. However, what is most important is that whether you’re an enterprise architect or an empowered employee, technology is only as good as the infrastructure that supports it.