But as we all know, technology doesn't happen in a vacuum.
Now here's Hopkins' list of 10 top business technology trends that are shaping EA as we know it (hint: it's all about data, data, data):
1) Business intelligence becomes agile, pervasive, and limitless: "Expect to see best practices and next-generation BI and data warehouse technologies mature," Hopkins says, noting that data provides the competitive edge.
2) Business rules take on complex business events: Those companies ahead of the pack will do a better job of sensing and responding to material events.
3) Analytics use big data to deliver better, faster insights: Big data is here, and firms want to be able to gain key insights from all this information -- such as customer attitudes, sales opportunities, and fraud prevention.
4) BPM embraces rules, events, and empowered technologies: Business process management is spreading its wings to include social technology, business rules and events, cloud, and mobile.
5) MDM meets process data management: "Expect continued investment in master data management, but the nature of enterprise business process transformation makes progress slow," Hopkins says.
6) The business takes up data governance: While companies with good data governance practices will remain few and far between, there will be greater impetus to "scope, prioritize, and organize a data governance program," Hopkins says.
7) The need for deeper customer engagement drives more social computing: Anyone surprised that social computing will be a big initiative? It's been a movement underway for several years.
8) Hybrids emerge amid cautious SaaS growth: There will be "continued growth of SaaS in the next three years, but as businesses become sensitive to actual return on investment (ROI), some shifts to hybrid or 'near-SaaS' models will occur." Hopkins defines "near-SaaS" models as "offerings that have emerged from traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors that are packaged as SaaS or cloud offerings."
9) The cloud applies pressure to IT economics: "The competitive pressures from cloud will drive greater standardization and automation," Hopkins says, predicting that many IT departments will be transformed into "cloud brokers."
10) The next phase of IT industrialization begins: Hopkins predicts the rise of highly collaborative enterprise architecture management systems ("EAMSes") as a way to pull together data, "to get a 360-degree view of technology delivery operations."