Lately, the big buzz has been about SOA governance, which I think is a good endurance indicator for any technology trend. It usually means people are getting serious about doing things right.
That said, governance is tricky for any initiative, and that hasn't changed with SOA. Enterprise architect and SOA blogger Todd Biske recently wrote a post warning against starting with a focus on enforcement. He takes a more positive-parenting approach, suggesting:
My recommendation is to define the behavior you'd like to see out of your organization, the policies that will help guide that behavior, and then focus first on education of the organization on those items. If your staff is better educated on the outcomes the organization wants to achieve, they're more likely to comply with the policies that will lead to that behavior, lessening the need for strong enforcement.
Biske, by the way, has now officially written the book (well, a book, anyway) on SOA governance. It's titled, succinctly enough, "SOA Governance" and is expected to be available in October, though you can find out about pre-ordering here. Congratulations to him!
But if you can't wait for the book and would like a little more help immediately, eBizQ is offering a free virtual conference on Wednesday. You'll have to sign up for the free gold membership, but that just requires the usual sign-up information: Name, phone number, address, etc.
I have to say, I'm impressed with the lineup and the best part is, if you can't make it on Wednesday, Sept. 24, the site will offer archived replays, according to participant and SOA columnist Joe McKendrick.
There will be three presentations, with the first starting at 11 a.m. EST, and two fifteen-minute breaks so you can visit virtual booths -- I assume those will feature the sponsoring-vendors, but it doesn't specify.
If you can only attend one event, I'd take a close look at the first seminar, "No SOA Governance Strategy? No Problem- Prepare For Failure!" It's presented by Gartner analyst Frank Kenney and Miko Matsumura of Software AG and will cover how to quickly organize for SOA governance, how to choose a governance technology solution and a look at the available solutions.
I interviewed Kenney about SOA governance solutions earlier this year and in May I interviewed Matsumura about SOA siloes and Web-oriented architecture. I enjoyed both interviews. They're smart, practical and well-versed in SOA; if my experience holds true, their presentation will be an hour well spent.
The second seminar is a panel discussion on SOA governance and IT governance. Again, eBizQ impressed me with the lineup, which includes Anne Thomas Manes of the Burton Group, Ronald Schmelzer of ZapThink and ZDNet/eBizQ/Informatica blogger Joe McKendrick as moderator.
Those of you who follow SOA will recall Manes made quite a splash this summer when she announced a shortage of SOA success stories. I suspect McKendrick will have his hands full, since the panel also includes vendor representatives from SOA Software, iTKO, AmberPoint and Progress Software. That event begins at noon EST.
At 1 p.m. EST, Larry Fulton, a senior analyst with Forrester Research, will speak on "The Future of SOA Governance." Fulton will discuss best practices for SOA governance and look at how you should spend your governance dollars now and in the future.