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Untitled Document The issues that are cited for a failed or stalled SOA initiative are usually lack of executive support, inflexibility of proprietary technologies, or an unclear strategic vision.

Regardless of the reason for a sputtering SOA, it doesn't change the end result. Given the time, expense and fact that most SOA initiatives require a green light from the management team before they begin, you have to believe that a SOA journey often begins with the best intentions.

And since hindsight is often 20/20 in these cases, many of the more recent conversations are turning to the role that governance "coulda/woulda/shoulda" played in the SOA. Yet if you read all of the marketing material around governance, you may be led to believe that it's the panacea for all that ails SOA. If only it were that easy.

The goal of governance, to a large extent, is to help companies make the most of their SOA investments. In its simplest explanation, governance does this by overseeing the processes of identifying, assessing, building, and managing services. While governance may be one way to help proactively address potential SOA issues before they negatively affect the business, it's certainly not a magic bullet nor is it for every organization.

So how do you know if governance is worth the time and investment or whether it's going to add another layer of complexity into your architecture?

Five questions to determine if governance is right for your company

Determining whether governance is right for your company will depend on several variables regarding the culture and size of your organization as well as the nuances of the infrastructure.

With this in mind, following are five questions designed to help determine if governance is the right path for your company.

1. Do you have outsourcing partners that you depend on for development of key business services?
2. Are you finding inconsistencies and/or redundancies after a service is deployed?
3. Is the SOA designed to serve various business lines throughout the company including customers and partners?
4. Are you trying to migrate legacy applications off the mainframe?
5. Are you in a heavily regulated industry and/or need to adhere to compliance requirements?

If you answered yes to the questions above, then SOA governance may be worth a closer look.


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