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Blogs > Marcia Kaufman

Five Steps to Effective SOA Governance
Marcia Kaufman By: Marcia Kaufman, Partner, Hurwitz & Associates
Published: 25th February 2010
Copyright Hurwitz & Associates © 2010
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I will be presenting a session titled "Five Steps to Effective SOA Governance" in BrightTALK's online SOA Governance Summit on Thursday, February 25. The summit includes five webcasts on different aspects of industry best practices for SOA Governance. This summit is sponsored in association with the ITGRC Forum. Please join me for the live session by clicking on this link or check out the webcast online at BrightTALK at a later date.

While I was at the IBM Pulse2010 Conference for Integrated Service Management this week, I spoke with several IBM executives about governance issues. I've had SOA Governance on my mind because I was preparing for this webcast and found many opportunities at Pulse2010 to discuss governance as it relates to SOA, cloud, security, and business outcomes.

While there are many layers of complexity around governance, here is one basic truth that we discussed. There are two types of governance that can impact your business. One is the governance you need to do to keep out of jail or at least out of trouble with government and industry regulators and the second is the governance you want to do to ensure that your company has the flexibility to grow and innovate. This is an important distinction. You can establish tightly regulated governance policies with a goal of passing your required audits, but without the right level of governance around business process issues you can't anticipate change and find opportunities in unexpected challenges.

If you are hoping to obtain better business outcomes (and who isn't?) you will need to work hard at improving business and IT collaboration. Implementing a Service Oriented Architecture helps an organization to align IT with business goals and to succeed in rapidly changing business environments. In order for you to achieve these benefits of SOA, you will need to implement a governance model. SOA governance is critical for achieving business value from your SOA initiative by ensuring the reusability of business services.

What is SOA Governance? It helps define a methodology for creating, managing, and safeguarding your movement to SOA. It also supports the management of business rules in a standardized way across the business.

How do you create effective SOA Governance for your organization? It is important to fit your governance model to your SOA. You need to start small and grow.

Here are five key steps to effective SOA Governance.

  1. Approach executive management with a justification for SOA governance.
  2. Create a comprehensive plan to create the right business services with executive support.
  3. Establish process for organizational change since managing change is as important as creating SOA services.
  4. Balance risk with oversight to find a proper balance for SOA governance.
  5. Plan for the lifecycle of business services.

SOA Governance is all about finding the right balance for your organization. You need to create the right set of business services at the right level of granularity to support the business. If your services are too narrow and technically defined, then they may not have the right meaning for the business. In order to achieve business success with SOA, you need to implement a SOA governance model that ensures business service reuse and business value.

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