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**Editor's note: This is a white paper by industry expert Peter Rhys Jenkins. More information can be found at this link.


Even (relatively) benign theocratic governance is enmeshed in politics -

“More tea, Cardinal Machiavelli?”

Service Oriented Architectures introduce a new level of complexity into existing information technology infrastructure. A level of complexity that demands – as most of the industry analysts seem to agree – Governance.

Just as Government grows with the size and complexity of the underlying infrastructure – People, Places and Things – so grow the politics. Enterprise wide Information Technology governance – People, Process and Artifacts – is no different.

Business politics has matured over the last three decades into a reliable well understood model, one that becomes increasingly Machiavellian the larger the enterprise. Which is why implementing effective SOA

Governance becomes much more difficult for large enterprises, than for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMB).

Which leads us to a dichotomy – larger enterprises have, by and large, more “stuff” that lends itself to being considered shareable services, yet politics acts as an extremely effective brake on sharing. In a small enterprise the lesser political tinkering leads to more willingness to “share” – yet there is a smaller pool of shareable “stuff”. Let’s look at an example.

If a group of people – led by a project manager, advised by an architect, staffed with gifted business analysts and programmers, labor for a number of months on a technology project – the outcome is often a deployable set of artifacts that the “owners” take great pride in. It is not uncommon in our business to gloat about successful projects many years after they have been deployed.

The people who build these entities almost always retain ownership with regard to ongoing maintenance, enhancement and eventual replacement. We introduce a new level of management between them and operation, yet when things go wrong, it is always the designers and implementers that get called – why ? – because they are the ones with the business and technical knowledge that’s needed to diagnose and fix things. So, these are the real owners and they are usually led by the person in their group or line of business who spent the money.


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