…is governance of it.
Why is that? Well…
- It’s where the organisational tensions come out – where the “rubber hits the road” of time scale and functional/non-functional compromises, i.e. normal ‘change’ life-cycle tensions
- The main value is long term not short term (there are tactical opportunities though)
- The value is opaque also, and difficult to define. We know it’s the right thing to do, but it’s tricky to keep that in mind when your latest project “pants are on fire”. Partially it is the opportunity cost of not making mistakes and so it intangible (i.e. when it is working well it might feel like you don’t need it and it adds little value)
- It’s a cost centre, so easily attacked when there is a budget challenge, i.e. you need new skills/teams to deliver and manage that ESB, perform governance, service definitions, canonical model, transforms etc
- SOA tends to be attached to one or two evangelists in an organisation, so when they move on or change role it can wither on the vine
- It’s dull – not sexy. Organisations lose interest in governance.
It’s all about sustainability really…and the vibrancy of the governance process is a good leading indicator of the health of SOA in your organisation…so the success or otherwise of SOA in an organisation is intimately linked with the health of the processes driving business strategy, EA, etc.