Break New Ground

SOA Governance/SOA Maturity Debate

Bob Rhubart
Community Manager, Oracle Groundbreakers Team

While making the rounds this morning I found two blog posts that present opposing opinions in what strikes me as a chicken-and-egg argument regarding SOA Maturity and SOA Governance.

In SOA Governance vs SOA Maturity, Ruan Malan offers a rather negative view of SOA governance:

[SOA Maturity]  is often seen as less of an urgent topic than SOA Governance. With the right governance maturity is a matter of time, right? Wrong. . .SOA reference architecture and governance thinking often goes like this: First define what you regard as an acceptably profitable definition of a service. The higher you set the bar on what is acceptable as a service in your SOA plans the more business benefits you think you can promise. You don’t want to end up 5 years from now with limited or negative ROI due to putting the bar too low. So you set the bar high. This way you also get to call it best practice.

In SOA – Pay Now or Pay Dearly, Richard Ward offers this contrasting observation:

I hear that governance can come later in SOA maturity because it is an expensive overhead. On the flip side I have seen SOA projects grow from a concept to production extremely quickly, and without the right policies and procedures in place potentially bad development practices could quickly become the norm, and the execution of services at runtime could be unmanaged. I believe in putting down rules quickly in a process to prevent costly rework later. Debates continue at what point governance should begin to develop. I would say you should think about governance before you build your first service.

What's your opinion?


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Comments ( 1 )
  • Ruan Malan Friday, February 20, 2009
    I agree with Richard that you should seriously think about governance before you embark on SOA implementation.
    We are warning about two opposite extremes in governance.
    My warning is that empowering people with governance and a list of best practices will not achieve desired results outside of a realistic roadmap. Just because governance can be poorly done does not mean it is inherently bad.
    Richard's warning is that if you start thinking about governance after starting implementation you might have sunken costs, unhealthy momentum.
    Ruan Malan
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