Organisations that under-invest in service oriented architecture (SOA) governance will fail to reap the long-term benefits that SOA offers, according to a report from analyst Butler Group.
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The report, SOA Governance, says that firms are ignoring SOA governance issues.
"Most organisations deploying SOA leave it too late to implement effective governance," said Rob Hailstone, an analyst at Butler Group. "The longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to 'retrofit' governance to an operational SOA environment. However, the effort must be made if the SOA initiative is not to descend into chaos."
The adoption of SOA provides significant potential to improve the value firms derive from their IT investments, in terms of increased flexibility, improved use of assets, alignment with business objectives, and reduced integration costs.
Butler Group's report deals with the four major phases of a SOA deployment: planning, design and development, run-time, and change lifecycle.
Although most descriptions of SOA governance focus on the technology-centric run-time environment, this represents just a small part of the overall governance effort, the report says.
The ideal time for an organisation to commit to SOA governance is right at the start of the SOA initiative, "by establishing the design authorities for the services and other artefacts to ensure that disruptive ownership issues are minimised", says the report.