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You wouldn't drive a car without insurance nor would you skydive without assurance that your parachute will open. So why is it that governance is still considered an afterthought in many IT shops when it can dramatically mitigate the business risks resulting from policy violations?

There are several reasons, or excuses, as to why governance sometimes takes a back seat in the overall IT strategy.  It's usually due to a combination of culture and software development processes that view governance as the step to take when things go awry or as a time consuming and unnecessary extra layer that results in product delays.

This is not to say that governance as a whole is not viewed by many as a critical part of the software development lifecycle. In many instances, architects and developers think about governance as something that should be applied only to the development of specific applications of services and not the entire infrastructure.

And let's face it, there's a growing contingency of "once bitten, twice shy" architects and developers who have learned the hard way that partial governance is as effective as half an umbrella in a rainstorm.

However, when you think about the way that the infrastructure is evolving -- supporting service oriented architectures, cloud computing and mainframe modernization -- you quickly realize that code that was originally intended to support one aspect of the infrastructure is being reused by different teams throughout the company.

This leads to a proliferation of applications and services that go beyond their original silos. On the plus side, this is a time saver because the best practices are being shared. On the minus side, of course, is the risk that the reused services contain errors. This is likely due to the fact that as the applications and services continue to be tweaked to address specific business needs, they become vulnerable to more coding errors.


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