My reflections on keynotes at the Building Business Capability 2012 Conference:

Attending the International Institute of Business Analysis Building Business Capability 2012 conference felt a little bit like taking part in an evangelical seminar. The leaders were preaching to the choir. These sessions reminded me of some great tools and techniques at my disposal with a few enhancements that others had found to be useful. I appreciate these conferences because the amount of knowledge sharing exchanged helps promote the good habits analysts continually seek out.

The overall theme was about business agility, and usually not the agility you would find most people talking about when it comes to Agile IT projects, although some sessions did touch on this. Agility as an analyst is more about the proactive insight that can be provided to management in order to help guide the business. Peter Fingar, John Zachman, and Kathleen Barret each provided enlightening revelations on exactly these points. I would have found even more useful if discussion had ensued to discuss these comments and take my thinking to the next stage of analytical nirvana.

Fingar's keynote was specifically on the progression of technology and alluded to the apocalyptic precipice that stands before us, with Cloud computing, Big Data, and the tumultuous revolution ahead. We had personal computing in the 80's, the Internet in the 90's, and mobile foundations, each year is successively bring more and more change to what is possible in the business world and as a consumer. As a consumer, I personally find all of it overwhelming that my imagination and demands will simply be met in successively shorter and shorter timeframes. Now if I could only make up my mind about what I really want to get out of all this technology in front of me.

My hero, John Zachman gave his overview of the Zachman Framework, the brilliance that his ontology brings to the atomic building blocks of any business analysis that takes place. His comments revealed to me how these pieces are critical to any Enterprise Architecture, with the Business Architecture as a pillar standing beside System and Technical Architectures. His point about agility in business was simply referring to the mathematical model we are beginning to slide towards: such rapid change, approaching infinity. The ability to be proactive in the market place and putting out a product that greets the market shift, rather than catching up, is subsequently approaching zero. So we must do more with less, right now, and eventually, we'll need to do everything with nothing. The reality is, with the current paradigm, we know this simply isn't possible. Some dramatic change must take place.

Kathleen Barret, President and CEO of IIBA, noted the tremendous value and potential Business Analysis has in businesses. She pointed out that there is astronomical growth expected in this profession because of the value the role provides to an organization. It is the Business Analysis roles that will help business make large transitions take place in the marketplace. Analysts are fundamental in the delivery of value and direction within an organization. They understand the current capabilities and the gaps in reaching the desired state. Analysts are passionate about gaining efficiency, providing the new functionalities and capabilities within an organization, so that there is real movement, not just churn.

So I'm in. I want to see the Cloud's capabilities fully realized within different business and system architectures. I want to learn how to think about doing the "impossible" of structuring a NoSQL query, so I can immediately jump to recommendations; so I can provide the most progressive thinking for the betterment of business, the marketplace, and my clients. I'm inspired to dream about Big Data and live on some cloud-9, along with my other visions. As an analyst I am excited as my eyes are set on the opportunities that abound, meanwhile I'm keeping my feet on the ground. My mind is reeling in all the questions I have about the roadmap to get there. All. Very. Interesting. All. Very. Fast. Put on your goggles and scarf. It's gonna be a wild ride.