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An article in the Wall Street Journal today on approaches to IT Outsourcing (The Goldilocks Strategy) has definite parallels to what I've seen with SOA Governance.
The article talks about an organization which first moves to outsourcing with a very loose contract, and ends up failing (poor service, mistrust, etc.). Then, they move to an airtight contract that lays out every last detail. But as their business changes, the rigid contract creates issues that result in... you guessed it: poor service and mistrust. So, they finally switch their approach to one that's much more hand's on to build trust between their organization and the outsourcer, allowing them to more easily adapt to changing business climate... and they end up with a very successful IT outsourcing strategy.
The same parallel hold true for most SOA Governance initiatives. Either there's none, or it's too overbearing (automated, rigid, and inflexible) - creating the exact problems that governance is intended to fix. Moving from web services to REST? "Sorry, our governance approach doesn't allow for that."
The right solution is often one that has little to do with tools, technologies, contracts, or mandates but instead is heavily based on the enterprise architecture team building a strong personal relationship with the rest of the organization.
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