SOA Governance and Data Governance - related or distant cousins?

Neil Macehiter recently blogged on the relation between SOA governance and data governance in response to a post by Joe McKendrick.  Neil states that he disagrees with the notion that

data governance and SOA governance are separate disciplines. 

Neil goes on to emphasize his point by saying 

SOA governance must encompass data governance...policies are the lingua franca of SOA governance and policies apply as much to the data flowing in a service network as they do to the services themselves

I couldn't agree more with Neil's statements.  I think it's important to remember that governance, regardless of what 'specialty' you are talking about, is a series of activities associated with influencing actions and behavior of an environment.  In this regard, SOA governance, data, governance, process governance, application governance, etc are all related to, but not dependent on, one another.  It's not that one encompasses the other, but rather the activities associated with each should work in conjunction with the rest of the governance discipline.  Data governance, for example, provides value regardless of whether your organization is doing SOA or not.

David Buckholz from Sony put it best last week - SOA governance is not considered a separate discipline within their organization but rather an extension to their existing governance disciplines.  They simply identified new processes, activities, and policies that should augment existing governance to take SOA issues into consideration. 

Using Sony as an example, this is how all governance 'specialties' should be handled.  It helps in the adoption by the governance community as it leverages processes they are already familiar with.  As a side effect to this, your SOA and data governance will take on the characteristics of your existing governance.  If your existing governance is highly effective, so too will SOA and data governance, but the converse will also be true. 

 

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