For the first time I joined Gartner’s Symposium ITexpo in Cannes. The event took place in the pretty famous Palais des Festivals de Cannes. The only difference: Where normally stars like Andy MacDowell or George Clooney walking smoothly over the red carpet, now Europe’s IT crowd jumping from workshop to presentation and from roundtables to the showrooms. At least a bit of Hollywood flavor came up when I arrived, as all this men in black suites and sunglasses in front of the building looked like an annual “Man in Black” summer camp. Gartner’s Symp is a very impressive event with more than 2400 participants and around 1200 of them are CIOs. So Gartner keeps the promised executive character of the Symp. And as typical for Gartner events: Everything was perfectly organized. Within the four day event, participants could choose among a broad range of very interesting presentations, workshops, roundtables and case studies. I only joined for 1,5 days but I have seen some very interesting presentations. One was about the skills an Enterprise Architect should have in the future. The title: “Enterprise Architects Beware: The Skills That You Got Here Will Not Take You Forward”. Presenter was Christopher Wilson from Gartner. In his speech he mainly focused on three points 1.) What is the changing nature of EA? 2.) What knowledge and skills do I need to be successful? 3.) Where can it be acquired? The bottom line message was: EA is evolving and so must Enterprise Architects! It was a good presentation which highlighted how EA is changing. He described the increasing focus on the business value, the need for pragmatism and the increasing conviction that EA is part of the answer to our troubles. It was interesting but not surprising to hear, that for Enterprise Architects soft skills getting critical as EA integrates and aligns business and IT and thus bringing a lot of different stakeholders together. These stakeholders have to be convinced to contribute to an EA Solution. This doesn't happen just by providing the technology. Also the management has to be convinced that an investment in EA pays back. To face these challenges soft skills can not only help, soft skills are a must. Very funny, impressing and some kind of unmasking was the presentation of Tina Nunno from Gartner about the Machiavellian CIO. But this is another story ;-) just google a bit and you can imagine... Ah and before I forget: Léo Apotheker said that SAP products already are in the cloud. I think you can find the right cloud in the sky easily as it must be colored blue ;-) The bottom line: A very good and informative event. I recommend it!