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minute now. Think for example, of the ever-young IBM i-series, the Intel-PC, and the forever with us IBM mainframe computer. Imagine looking that good at nearly fifty! Predicting which is which possible, but the odds are high.

SOA is young enough that there’s plenty of time to take advantage of its’ expected life. Given the interest of both developers and customers, it’s likely to be around for quite a while.

The Whole Vision: A View of the Enabled Enterprise

SOA Governance has a particular and valuable quality. It enables both business and IT to view the entire organization, at every level of SOA implementation. An important view is the Enterprise, from the Department Silo view to the Enterprise View, but perhaps more important will be the future ability to extend that view to include the enterprise’s Value Chain. In that view, it will be possible to see the effect of a process – or a process change – from a single desk or department to every supplier, partner, and customer.

That broad future vision would enable management to quickly remodel processes and adapt services when unexpected changes in the marketplace – a strike, a natural disaster, an interruption to the supply chain – create challenges or opportunities. And that will make SOA and its Governance and infrastructure powerful indeed.

A Call to Action about SOA Governance

While it’s possible to start an SOA project successfully without SOA Governance in place, especially if it’s a small project, inside a single department, SOA Governance helps insure that SOA projects will provide their intended results. It does this through promoting consistency, the reuse of IP, and the development and application of organization-wide policies. This avoids having very good SOA projects inside individual groups but never realizing the much larger benefits that are available when SOA is implemented in a coordinated way across the organization.

For larger projects and for companies that are moving from small SOA pilots to larger and more ambitious projects that affect larger parts of their organization, SOA Governance should be viewed as a requirement for smooth planning, implementations, and management with exceptional results.

SOA Governance is often a cooperative effort between the business users of SOA and the technology facilitators in IT, especially if you already have an IT Governance program in place. In any case, this will be a good subject for sharing views on as well as responsibilities.

For information on IBM’s SOA and SOA Governance portfolios, visit www.ibm.com/SOA

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October 18, 2006

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