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This chapter is from the book

Governance Is Critical

If this book has done nothing else but convinced you of the importance of governance as your company moves forward, then that alone is worth its weight in gold. SOA requires an efficient business and technology governance mechanism to make sure that IT efforts meet business needs, and as a means of controlling what services are deployed and how those services are used.

Governance is designed to enable organizations to realize the full potential of flexibility. It addresses issues that, if left unattended, might be inhibitors to gaining the flexibility and time–to–market benefits associated with SOA—essential issues surrounding the lifecycle of a service. Effective SOA governance is more than just technology. It calls for a lifecycle approach that integrates an organization's people, processes, information, and assets.

In its internal use of SOA, IBM found governance to be that secret to success. "From our point of view, SOA governance is an integral and significant aspect of our overall IT governance, which includes managing process, applications, data, and technology," said Catherine Winter, Team Leader for IBM Enterprise Architecture Governance. IBM started by identifying the appropriate process and roles/responsibilities set up the IBM Architecture Board to govern and manage the SOA environment. This governance strategy helped optimize IT assets across the entire corporation.

Address these keys to effective governance:

  • Establishing decision rights for your SOA environment
  • Defining appropriate services
  • Managing the lifecycle of service assets
  • Measuring effectiveness
  • Changing the Culture
  • Aligning IT and Business
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