Original Post Date: Friday, July 30, 2010

Earlier this week I presented a webinar on the topic of SOA governance – specifically focused on making sure that organizations include SOA governance as they plan to deploy SOA capabilities.  As sometimes happens when I am giving a presentation (especially one I have given before), I was struck with somewhat of an epiphany as I was relaying the material on my slides.  In this case it was not really a new idea about the material, but more a deeper understanding of why this topic really is important.

To be honest, when I first wrote the abstract for this talk – I was really looking for a catchy title so the conference reviewers would pick my paper.  Not that I didn’t believe that SOA governance was critical, but I knew that all governance was important and it felt a little disingenuous and self serving to just focus on SOA governance.

But as I was presenting this topic, it hit me how critical governance is to a SOA initiative.  SOA is successful when the enterprise realizes savings through reused assets and all of the benefits that come with business agility.  Without good SOA governance this will only happen in pockets of the organization at best.  Organizations that purchase SOA technology and then continue to develop “SOA” in silos – are not realizing these benefits.  SOA Governance ensures that decisions on SOA projects are made with knowledge of all of the SOA initiatives in the organization, not just within a certain aspect.  It makes sure that projects are coordinating their needs for services and taking advantage of existing services (internal and external) while composing SOA applications. 

Alert readers are undoubtedly now lauding me for my flair for the obvious.  And you are absolutely correct.  All that I said above should be perfectly obvious to anyone involved in or contemplating adventures into the world of SOA. Despite this fact, in our research we have talked to a lot of people who struggle to keep from developing ‘stovepipes of SOA’  and a fair amount who have conceded the battle.  Taking this into account along with the fact that I (who thinks about this stuff a lot) needed to be reminded, I figured this was a blog worthy topic.

To learn more about PRICE’s research in the governance area, download the webinar "Estimating the Costs of Service Oriented Architetcure" or read the whitepaper "Estimating SOA".