The Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit is currently on in full swing, and the theme of this year’s conference is clear:  it’s all about changing the game. And what does changing the game mean? It means addressing the issues and concerns that will have the greatest impact on how customers and clients interact with the enterprise systems that the global army of application developers are creating.

"Ignore the stakeholders" is a quote that has been bandied about several times during the first day of the conference, emphasizing this idea that if the world's developers are going to make the most of the revolutionary opportunity that the proliferation of smart-phones, embedded systems and cloud computing is ushering in, then the focus has to be on both the user and the quality of the experience that user is provided.

But to change the game, one must be aware of the key areas that have game-changer potential. So, what are the game changers? According to Jeff Schulman, vice president and team manager in Gartner Research, it breaks down into three distinct categories:

1. Customer facing systems

The revolution in customer facing systems is before us, but many organizations are reluctant to embrace it. But connected users are engaged users. Sadly, for many organizations, strategies for leveraging social technologies, making content universally available through the cloud and governance rules surrounding multi-device systems are still in the planning stage. Embracing these technologies can help an organization change the game, while not using them effectively, or even worse, not using them at all, will see organizations red-carded and taken off the playing field.

2. Capital Equipment

The right capital equipment expenditures can turn a company that struggles to work through a weeks worth of data analytics into a big-data goliath that can respond and react to consumer wants and needs in real-time. Being able to deliver customized solutions to clients in real time, all the time, can be another potential game changer.

3. The people in the field.

Do you still have people in the field? Maybe you can't eliminate the need for a physical presence when it comes to a delivery woman or repair man. But are you enabling them with the key technologies they need? Are the service technicians accessing schematics on mobile devices connected through the cloud? Are sales people utilizing tablet based applications that can guide them through effective sales strategies? "Companies are doubling their close rates by building side-by-side sales apps" says Gartner Research VP Ian Finley. It's just one more way that companies are changing the game.

And that's what this year's Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit is all about - it's about working with the tools and technologies, that range from SOA architectures to mobile devices, in a way that will change the game, while at the same time, helping to prepare the developers, designers and architects so that when the game does change, the development community is prepared and ready to adapt.