In order to accelerate the effective deployment of SOA, we need "efficient governance," argues Ajit Sagar of Infosys Technologies in a recent issue of Web Services Journal. He proposes the establishment of a globally distributed "center of excellence."
He notes that potential adopters need several things to validate their decisions. "Research needs to be conducted, products need to be evaluated, eliminated, and selected, and patterns and guidelines need to be published to address the common needs of the applications," Sagar writes.
Unfortunately, cost gets in the way. Nobody wants another cost center. So Sagar suggests going offshore with at least part of the work to reduce costs. "While this is an attractive proposition, it requires careful planning to set it up," he writes. "To set up an effective distributed COE, appropriate roles need to be defined and staffed at the client site, as well as at the offshore/nearshore locations. Effective project management and processes need to be set up to produce deliverables such as white papers, vendor evaluations, newsletters, FAQs, blueprints, architecture cookbooks, patterns and guidelines documents, etc. Appropriate infrastructure needs to be set up to enable effective communication and knowledge sharing."
This remains a challenge. However, it may prove an essential step in the evolution of SOA. "The bottom line is that if you have a large sized IT with multiple portfolios, and if you don't consider standardization and governance across your multitude of applications, then the cost that will be paid in the long run offsets the savings that you will achieve in the immediate future," he says. "Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish."