No sooner had I got my post up than Joe McKendrick put up a very similar post, almost at the same time. Very strange. I'm sure those of you who think Joe and I were separated at birth now will have some more to discuss. Truth-be-told, this is fundamental concept within SOA, and I would hope that both my post and Joe's post get people thinking.
"But is something being missed in the rush to SOA governance? What about what's happening on the data side of the house? If data governance is inadequate — information is outdated, out of sync, duplicated, or plain inaccurate — SOA-enabled services and applications will be delivering [garbage.] That's a formula for SOA disaster.
You have to begin with a sound foundation to build a sound house, and this notion goes to architecture as well. You have to have a good handle and governance on the data, or else any services you derive off that data won't have the architecture quality that you need for the core benefit of SOA … agility. That data will be the limiting factor.
While there are many technology companies out there who will assist you with data governance -- most of them pretty good -- you need to start with your own understanding and processes. This means discovery, definition, categorization, security, access, etc. There is a lot of work to be done and it's not fun, which is why most enterprises choose not to do it. At the risk of being redundant, if you do skip this step, your SOA won't work as well, if at all. This is easily provable.