Introduction to SOA...........................................................................................3
The Top 10 Challenges of Organizations Adopting SOA ...............................3
Need for SOA Governance................................................................................5
Purpose of SOA Governance ...........................................................................5
SOA Governance Best Practices and Principles ............................................6
SOA Governance Structure ..............................................................................7
SOA Governance Rules and Responsibilities.................................................7
SOA Governance Leadership Team.................................................................8
The Role of Organizational Change Management ..........................................8
Next Step ............................................................................................................11
About the Authors .............................................................................................11
About Hitachi Consulting..................................................................................11
About Hitachi .....................................................................................................11
Introduction to SOA
The pace at which business is conducted has increased dramatically over the past
decade. A recent study indicates that the timeframes for completing certain
transactions—such as airline operations and call center inquiries—have been
condensed from days and hours to seconds. Because timeframes are much shorter
and products and services must be introduced more quickly, innovation is critical for
the survival of many companies.
External and internal factors, such as compliance, changes in demand,
SOA is an architectural philosophy that and budget cuts, have also put tremendous pressure on the
promotes the development of applications infrastructure resources of many organizations. Customers now
not as single units with tightly coupled demand instant and integrated information. They want to access data
anytime, anywhere. In order to respond to changing customer needs
business logic, but rather as loosely coupled
and stay competitive, companies are adopting Service Oriented
business services, each of which performs a Architecture (SOA).
logical, discrete, business function.
The need to gain market share is another important factor forcing
companies to adopt SOA. For organizations to grow market share, they
must determine how to integrate the customer and supplier into a complex
information matrix, regardless which channel the customer taps into. All customer
data must be immediately updated and internally transferred throughout the supply
chain. Corporations need the ability to set strategy and align technology and
processes to deliver and manage the information flow, achieving a level of agility
that will enable them to more easily respond to market needs and to improve
customer service with efficient and effective delivery.
SOA reduces the complexity associated with integrating applications and processes
by standardizing the way information technology (IT) assets are used with common
components and processes. By focusing on delivery of integrated business services
rather than single unit performance, SOA can provide real-time benefits to
customers and stakeholders. But, SOA is not without its challenges.
The Top 10 Challenges of Organizations Adopting SOA
1. Misunderstanding SOA
SOA is not a magic bullet; nor is it a new idea. However, it is a way to improve
service to business users and speed delivery time to market. SOA allows for more
effective process change with less complexity than other approaches, as shared
services streamline business processes. Unfortunately, many companies are not
structured to easily adopt or implement SOA. The hype in the marketplace as to
what SOA can do—the magic bullet syndrome—is not providing enough guidance
for companies to capitalize on its prospects. SOA initiatives must follow a “think big,
start small” approach. To effectively accomplish this, an SOA governance model is a
must. SOA governance depends on integrated management to join business units
and information technology together.
2. Isolated implementation of SOA
Too often, service teams isolate or disconnect SOA from the work that the approach
is designed to impact. A centralized team builds what they think developers should
use, rather than design an approach that is both appropriate and integrated. Many
companies procure software packages and embark on large SOA initiatives without
defining their SOA strategy or understanding what SOA will deliver. The cross-
functional integration of business processes is necessary to support a value-
generating activity chain. To achieve greater effectiveness, SOA implementation
teams should consider executing a demonstration approach: start small with a low
risk/high value proposition, demonstrate positive results from the solution, and then
replicate on a larger scale.
3. No culture of reuse
For SOA to be successful, companies must foster a culture of reuse, where
developers and line managers use the same services toward a common goal. In
some situations, developers do not see the value of using SOA. If they are not
required to use available services, they will frequently want to build their own custom
applications to use existing applications, rather than using another’s creation.
Corporate culture must promote cross-functional communication to break down
barriers and demonstrate the importance of SOA. Without collaboration and
interaction, companies will have a difficult time realizing the full potential and reaping
the benefits of SOA.
4. Lack of strategic alignment
Many IT initiatives have not been fully linked to a company’s strategic goals and
objectives. IT services often focus on a specific application to solve finite problems
or satisfy the need of a particular business unit. The nature of the SOA approach
dictates horizontal integration of business processes across business unit
boundaries. To support an organization’s critical success factors, SOA must align
people, process, and technology.
5. Inability to anticipate and capitalize on change
It is no longer enough for business and IT to respond to change; instead they must
move in lockstep to anticipate and capitalize on change. Companies are now
focusing their service strategies on a business approach tied to the customer.
Understanding customers—who they are, what they want, and how to sell to them—
is vitally important if companies want to effectively capitalize on changes in the
global marketplace. Companies must closely monitor customer preferences and
profiles and quickly incorporate solutions to satisfy change throughout the company.
6. Traditional business structure is not conducive to SOA
Consider how your company is structured when formulating a strategy to implement
SOA. In a traditional functional organization, the design of the reporting relationships
and ownership of business activities and outputs are based upon functional
expertise, such as manufacturing, marketing, customer service, and order
management. Individual organizational functions support each of the vertical
business units of the company. However, if SOA is to be effective, a company
requires a value-chain process based on contributing activities that level silos and
deliver services horizontally, as well as vertically.
7. Organizational barriers
For SOA to be successful, you must coordinate and align business functions with IT.
Companies may be hindered by an inability or reluctance to integrate systems
across departmental or functional lines. They may also discover duplication in
delivery of services or conflict in policies and procedures. Other internal barriers
may stem from a lack of understanding about how SOA provides benefit or applies
to discrete departmental functions, as well as to overall company goals. Multi-lateral
buy-in is necessary to overcome these organizational barriers and to break
8. Resistance to standardization
Defining technology standards, usage guidelines and overall principles of adoption
is a complex task for companies. However, a robust SOA must be scalable,
manageable and reusable. To successfully implement and govern SOA, a
governance model must be put in place to manage and control the lifecycle of a
service from its inception to its expiration. The model also needs to protect shared
services development through ownership of information and guidelines. The
development community is often reluctant and resistant to this standardization, for
fear of losing control or oversight in design and delivery of custom technology.
9. Lack of integrated technology
SOA is all about using open standard technology and requires technical interfaces
that can be applied consistently and compatibly across business processes. By
providing the guiding principles and introducing new competency standards, SOA
helps companies pro-actively address the technology and vendor products that exist
within the company at a granular level. This standards-based compatibility also
protects shared services development and prevents or minimizes proprietary
product ownership by vendors, eliminating vendor lock-in.
10. Value to the business
An organization needs to consider the desired benefit(s) of SOA and engage the
appropriate groups to successfully implement the approach. Services can be
combined and leveraged to create new business processes that make the company
more agile. In addition, organizations need to expand the scope of SOA outside IT
to ensure greatest impact. IT Executives will need to clearly articulate the solution
parameters (translate a highly technical approach into terms a non-technical
stakeholder can understand) and benefits of SOA to their business counterpoints in
order to build the business partnership that is essential to realize the full value of
SOA to the organization.
Need for SOA Governance
A service oriented approach to governance is a must if a company is to maintain
and grow market share in a marketplace where customers expect and demand
speed of delivery.
One of SOA’s greatest strengths is its enhanced flexibility of services. To create this
increased flexibility, SOA brings together and orchestrates a host of individual parts
from various locations within a company. Usually, more work products and elements
are required to create SOA. This service-oriented approach spans horizontally
across business functions, vertically up and down the technology stack, temporarily
across the application development lifecycle, across collaborating project teams and
cultures, and with vendors and other stakeholders.
SOA governance helps minimize complications that may result from
“SOA is a revolutionary approach extraction and integration of these parts into a single service delivery
that should be adopted in an approach. It also helps set the clear terminology and standards of
communication where SOA crosses traditional enterprise boundaries and
operational contexts, increasing the connection among business
processes, functional capabilities, organizational entities, end users,
— Sa’d Kanan, Vice President applications, and data.
It is critical to the ultimate success of any SOA implementation that
strong executive sponsorship (business and IT) is actively in place
throughout the transformation lifecycle. This sponsorship will force the necessary
changes to align the business process, organizational design, and performance
management. Due to the nature of SOA and the requirement for organizational and
process alignment across the value chain, executives must understand the barriers
they will face and develop a change management plan to address, and be actively
involved in execution of the plan.
Purpose of SOA Governance
SOA governance begins with mapping corporate, business, and IT policies to
identify specific SOA business services. It then defines and enforces the compliance
rules and policies for managing those services, and dictates policies for services
reuse, IT compliance, and security. The governance ensures simplicity and process
capability based on scale.
Strong organizational processes are critical to SOA success. The executive team
must see SOA initiatives aligned with business goals; and strategies articulated with
clearly defined project charters, requirements, and performance metrics.
SOA initiatives require an organizational structure that balances project resource
requirements and operational flexibility to ensure appropriate allocation of IT and
business assets. For SOA initiatives to work, business users must be willing to
engage with IT governance on improving processes and integrating systems.
SOA governance is only as strong as the adoption and use of clearly defined
business requirements and processes by key stakeholders and user groups. Often,
a reward system is implemented to encourage compliance with SOA governance. It
is critical to create a set of standards and usage principles that are clear and easy to
understand and then effectively communicate the organization’s expectation relative
to the published standards.
Access and availability to resources are two important issues that must be resolved
ahead of time to increase adoption and compliance. In many cases organizations
put standards and principles of use and reuse in place without making it easy for
developers and business users to gain access to the resources they need to do their
job. This example issue can easily be resolved by centralizing services in a
Successful SOA governance occurs in several ways. SOA is often explored as a
prototype at the business unit level to test the system internally and limit the
investment risk. This “think big, start small” approach allows executives to measure
results and prove value prior to implementation on a broader scale. SOA can also
be implemented through incremental acquisition, where various business units are
integrated in phases to manage the change. Either approach requires an internal
champion to define, develop, and deploy SOA and demonstrate its benefits to the
company months in any one role before being moved to another role or leaving
At the core of governance is the ability to monitor, measure, and analyze the
organization’s SOA service network. Business units must be managed at the micro-
level, often using service level agreements (SLAs) to determine the performance
benchmark. Policy enforcement is vital to ensuring that all business units work in
tandem and use a standards-based process for interoperability. For instance,
applying Business Process Executive Language or Unified Modeling Language is a
great way to communicate and govern, so that ultimately SOA provides
SOA Governance Best Practices and Principles
Successful SOA governance policies have a pervasive influence on IT governance.
The following four IT areas are key to defining comprehensive SOA
• Architecture governance: the design and structure that determines the IT
• Business governance: how the IT enterprise supports the evolving needs of
• Data governance: the principles that dictate how data is managed across the
• Technical governance: the core technical standards that vendors and users
must apply within the IT enterprise
Within each of the key SOA governance areas, several principles need to be
addressed when devising the SOA governance model:
• Compliance of standards among enterprise and specific groups
• Identification and categorization of business services
• Service provisioning and delivery
• Reuse, granularity, and modularity
• Methodology used to perform SOA tracking and evaluation
Executive sponsorship is another key factor for any successful SOA governance
model. Defining roles and responsibilities of the various parts of the organization
also contributes to the success.
SOA Governance Structure
Ultimately, SOA governance should focus on aligning the business goals with
technology. It is a part of an existing IT governance framework that is aligned with
corporate governance principles.
SOA may require greater upfront funding to build the infrastructure, or portfolio of
services, necessary to compose new applications and solutions. Therefore, it is
important that a solid foundation ‘architecture’ be put in place that will eventually
enable the organization to build upon services that exist in its portfolio, and span
business unit boundaries to achieve horizontal integration. This foundation must
include a governance structure for both evaluating what business processes are
service-worthy and at what level of granularity, and to establish the roles and
responsibilities of how and what technology will be used to both author and
If value chains are in place and investment is available, executives may choose to
establish a high-level SOA approach to filter down to various business unit levels
and users. However, a company officer must sponsor the initiative to demonstrate
its importance to business performance.
Although companies may initially look to consultancies to help them implement
SOA, they should also identify the right individual within their organization to
collaborate with the consultants so they build the right skills during the lifecycle. This
individual should develop a holistic understanding of the strategy/vision behind the
implementation effort and support the new technologies in place. Unlike other more
traditional IT initiatives, SOA will more than likely require the creation of new roles
and competencies within the organization.
SOA Governance Rules and Responsibilities
SOA governance provides companies with standards and guidelines to ensure that
services are properly developed and managed. By introducing the concept of
domain ownership, SOA creates a paradigm where managed sets of services share
a common business context. It also produces consistent execution and delivery of
SOA through a guidance framework. SOA governance also oversees change
management and communication to track progress against the company’s strategic
vision. Several key groups impact the successful implementation and oversight of
SOA governance. Here is a brief outline of their roles and responsibilities:
Sponsorship and Leadership Scope and
Leadership Team Line of
Control and Owner
PMO Project Application
Execution and Delivery
SOA Domain SOA Domain SOA Domain
Team Lead Team Lead Team Lead
• SOA business • SOA business • SOA business
analyst analyst analyst
• SOA technical • SOA technical • SOA technical
analyst and analyst and … analyst and
developer developer developer
• Business • Business • Business
Service Tester Service Tester Service Tester
• … • … • …
SOA Governance Leadership Team
Governance first requires a leadership team to approve and monitor SOA’s strategic
direction. This group will set SOA priorities and approve technology standards. The
SOA Governance Leadership Team will also arbitrate key SOA issues to enforce
policies and procedures. These key responsibilities will help ensure alignment with
the organization’s strategic objectives.
Program Management Office (PMO)
Guided by the Governance Leadership Team, the Program Management Office is
responsible for the development and implementation of the SOA governance. This
office allocates strategic resources—funding, personnel, infrastructure, and
technical support—to sponsor SOA. The office also champions key SOA policies
and procedures, and handles disputes arising from SOA project issues. The PMO
has the flexibility to apply and tailor common service delivery based on size,
complexity, risk, and business value. It determines IT priorities for each key SOA
initiative, based on business planning and budget. With this intimate oversight, the
PMO must also provide project management training, expertise, and
information/direction regarding best practices to successfully deliver the
SOA Domain Team Lead
A domain often impacts several business units, and therefore requires an entity to
manage the applications that supports its specific services. The domain team leader
must also maintain the interfaces to its services so that other domains can access
them. This team is ultimately responsible for overall direction, execution, and
delivery of the SOA domain, as well as business application of the SOA services
within the domain.
These individuals share information regarding specific business requirements and
identify the cross-organizational SOA business services applicable to their domain.
In this way, these business representatives can help the PMO address issues or
make necessary adjustments to keep SOA beneficial and sustainable.
SOA Business Analyst (business process steward)
Working closely with IT, the business analyst directs how services shall be
implemented. The steward also identifies normal business services and translates
their specific business requirements into SOA definitions.
Domain SOA Technical Developer
The technical developer is responsible for building and maintaining services that are
consistent with business requirements. The developer also implements services
consistent with guidelines and SOA principles to ensure continuity and compliance.
Business Service Tester
This individual or group certifies that each service conforms to the unique
applications required by business. The business service tester regularly tests
situations to determine how effectively the service interfaces with the business units.
Each of these individuals or entities is critical to successful SOA governance. A
structure that allows vertical and horizontal integration helps domains interface,
streamlines management, focuses on consistent delivery of services, and
demonstrates organizational value by providing the speed required to gain
The Role of Organizational Change Management
As companies move toward SOA architecture and cross-functional, business-
process orchestration across the value chain, a comprehensive organizational
change management (OCM) approach is necessary. OCM aligns the people,
processes, and technologies necessary to guide the creation of the future-state and
eventually manage the new service oriented environment. While it may seem that
SOA governance is a technical function, it truly requires organizational change.
Change occurs when companies identify and articulate a clear, new vision that is
backed by management commitment, investment, and procedures to support
implementation, involvement by employees and users, and measured performance.
As companies plan for and undertake the transformation to an SOA-enabled
environment, it is essential that change management activities are included within
the implementation plans. Change management activities should, at a minimum,
address the following four disciplines of change management in order to help
address the organizational and people barriers the company will have to overcome
to ensure the ultimate success of the initiative:
1. Leadership and stakeholder commitment
Actively engaging leadership is the first step in transitioning change. Helping
managers to educate employees on how to accept, adopt, and implement transition
practices will result in the desired change. Companies must provide the tools and
resources to help leaders, as well as individual stakeholders, transition effectively
from one approach to another.
2. Organizational impact and readiness
Understanding and assessing the current corporate environment will help the
leadership team identify and select the most appropriate strategy for developing the
infrastructure that will result in a sustainable change. The strategy should include:
• Business case or well-articulated argument for the recommended change
• Assessment of the organization’s readiness for change
• Analysis of the organization’s track record for adopting change
• Management plan (with strategy and approach) for the change
• Assessment of the impact on the organization after the change
• Assessment of the impact on jobs after the change
Creating a plan that articulates the appropriate tools and messages to guide the
organization through the change process must be developed on two levels. First, the
company must educate stakeholders about the change. Second, it must help
navigate the constituents through the change process. Development and distribution
of appropriate collateral materials are critical steps in the communication cycle.
Providing the necessary instruction on the new approach and technology processes
is fundamental for SOA governance. Equally important is helping stakeholders
understand how to apply the skills learned to their on-the-job activities in order to
sustain and evaluate change.
A custom curriculum for various business units and contributing stakeholders is
required for implementation, along with a knowledge transfer plan, to help turn
information into action.
Change management and governance are two very important components of an
SOA approach. Ensuring that sponsors are on board to endorse and navigate the
change process is as important as designing the appropriate system. Companies
must conduct the necessary research, planning, and development prior to
implementation of SOA to ensure that the proper management and measurement
strategies are in place to effect positive and sustainable change. Integrating the IT
and business governance functions; however, can help streamline the company and
create greater efficiency for customers and user groups.
Linking SOA Requirements to OCM Best Practices and Activities
Service Oriented Architecture Organizational Change Management
Obtain commitment from senior leadership to operate Executive Sponsorship / Education
more efficiently/effectively and to shift paradigms/think
differently (process focus, information providers / brokers /
consumers / etc.)
Clearly articulate vision for SOA and business benefits to the Business Case for Change and Strategy Articulation /
enterprise, organizations, and individuals Communication
Overcome resistance to availability and sharing of Culture / Leadership and Stakeholder Involvement /
information across organizational boundaries and traditionally Education / Communication
Educate business leaders and end users regarding SOA Organizational and Job Impact Analysis / Education /
transformation requirements, process changes, and new Communication
interdependencies within the SOA environment
Achieve consensus on shared services, level of granularity, Leadership and Stakeholder Involvement / Communication
etc. (business side and IT), and align projects
Adjust organizational structures and/or relationships as Design Enabling Organization Structures and Processes /
well as individual roles and responsibilities, and Education
Establish new standards (technical, policy, data, security, etc.) Performance Metrics and Accountabilities / Education /
and educate the organization Communication
Ensure / enforce compliance with standards Adopt “trumps” compliance
Building a Service Oriented Architecture obviously does not happen overnight, and
sustainable implementation of the approach requires significant organizational
change and technical planning. The investment of time and resources, as well as
the complexity of the SOA implementation may also influence companies to pilot
solutions and test ROI. SOA governance ensures that performance measures can
be sustained throughout the involved business units and provide optimum benefits
for the organization.
A strong SOA governance model should enable the organization to answer basic
questions, such as:
• What business processes are service-worthy?
• At what level of granularity should they be abstracted?
• Who can produce them?
• How are they published?
• How are they consumed?
• When do they expire?
• Why are they consumed?
• Can they be used internally and externally?
• With what security standards must they comply?
• Who owns them?
Governance enables an organization to effectively implement an SOA approach with
results that will positively impact the organization’s ability to respond to external
factors and integrate internal delivery systems. With SOA and the appropriate
internal governance procedures, your company will have the responsiveness and
speed desired for key service delivery.
Hitachi Consulting recommends that most IT organizations adopt SOA as quickly as
possible, but be realistic about timelines and control expectations. Gaining control of
the hype cycle as soon as possible and setting expectations are critical. Also critical
is reducing risk by starting small, learning from mistakes, and building the internal
skills and corporate culture you will need to ensure continued success.
For more information about Hitachi Consulting’s SOA services and examples of
how we have helped IT leaders and IT organizations plan, control, and move
forward with their SOA strategies and initial projects, please call us today at
About the Authors
Sa’d Kanan, a vice president for Hitachi Consulting’s Pacific Southwest practice,
provides custom development, integration and service-oriented architecture (SOA)
methodology implementation. Kanan has more than 10 years of consulting
experience in the areas of custom development, software development
methodology, systems integration and strategic technology roadmaps for fortune
2000 companies. He has focused principally on enterprise integration and
implementation, and for the past three years, has led the SOA practice for Hitachi
Joanne Page, a senior manager in Hitachi Consulting’s Pacific Southwest practice,
provides business process improvement, organizational change management, and
governance methodology to our custom developed/SOA implementation projects.
Page has more than 10 years professional experience delivering solutions in the
areas of strategy and process improvement, customer care and channel,
organizational change management, and packaged/custom developed technology
implementations. She has focused on product lifecycle requirements, customer data
integration, and governance for the past three years.
About Hitachi Consulting
As Hitachi, Ltd.’s (NYSE: HIT) global consulting company, Hitachi Consulting is a
recognized leader in delivering proven business and IT solutions to Global 2000
companies across many industries. We leverage decades of business process,
vertical industry, and leading-edge technology experience to understand each
company’s unique business needs. From business strategy development
through application deployment, our consultants are committed to helping clients
quickly realize measurable business value and achieve sustainable ROI.
With offices in the U.S., Japan and Europe, Hitachi Consulting’s client base
includes nearly 35 percent of the Fortune 100, 25 percent of the Global 100, as
well as many leading mid-market companies. We offer a client-focused,
collaborative approach, which integrates strategy, people, process and
technology, and we transfer knowledge throughout each engagement. For more
information, call 877.664.0010 or visit www.hitachiconsulting.com.
Hitachi Consulting – Inspiring your next success!®
Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT/TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a
leading global electronics company, with approximately 356,000 employees
worldwide. Fiscal 2005 (ended March 31, 2006) consolidated sales totaled 9,
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products and services in market sectors including information systems,
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and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the
company's Web site at http://www.hitachi.com.