Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 499–510 | Cite as

SOA in practice – a study of governance aspects

  • George JoukhadarEmail author
  • Fethi Rabhi


The academic literature on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) governance is based on theories and assumptions rather than practices, whereas the SOA governance frameworks proposed by Information Technology (IT) vendors are made to suit their products. Research shows that the problems with SOA governance in practice are among the major reasons of SOA failures. An extensive literature review that covers SOA, IT governance and SOA governance has been carried out part of this research. The purpose of this research paper is to increase our understanding of SOA governance and to show which SOA aspects organizations should consider when adopting a SOA governance framework. Based on a literature review, this study first proposes a list of SOA aspects to be considered when implementing SOA governance. By adopting an interpretive research methodology – based on interviews with professionals and practitioners in the fields of IT governance and SOA governance – this research paper examines the importance of these aspects. The results provide a theoretical conceptualization of SOA aspects that can be used to assess SOA governance practices and provide guidance to improve them.


Service-oriented architecture IT governance SOA governance Governance framework SOA aspect 


  1. Afshar, M. (2007). SOA governance: Framework and best practices. Retrieved 25 April 2011, from Scholar
  2. Beimborn, D., Joachim, N., Schlosser, F., & Streicher, B. (2009). The Role of IT/Business Alignment for Achieving SOA Business Value - Proposing a Research Model. Paper presented at the Americas Conference on Information Systems 2009 (AMCIS).Google Scholar
  3. Bernhardt, J., & Seese, D. (2009). A Conceptual Framework for the Governance of Service-Oriented Architectures. Service-Oriented Computing - ICSOC 2008 Workshops, (5472).Google Scholar
  4. Bieberstein, N., Bose, S., Walker, L., & Lynch, A. (2005). Impact of service-oriented architecture on enterprise systems, organizational structures, and individuals. IBM Systems Journal, 44(4), 691–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bieberstein, N., Bose, S., Fiammante, M., Jones, K., & Shah, R. (2006). Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Compass: Business Value, Planning, and Enterprise Roadmap (1st Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River: IBM.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, W., Moore, G., & Tegan, W. (August 2006). SOA Governance – IBM’s Approach. Retrieved from:
  7. Casati, F., Shan, E., Dayal, U., & Ming-Chien, S. (2003). Business-oriented management of web services. Communications of the ACM, 46(10), 55–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Choi, J., Nazareth, D. L., & Jain, H. K. (2010). Implementing service-oriented architecture in organizations. Journal of Management Information Systems, 26(4), 253–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de Leusse, P., Dimitrakos, T., & Brossard, D. (2009). 6–10 July 2009). A Governance Model for SOA. Paper presented at the IEEE international conference on web services, 2009. Icws, 2009.Google Scholar
  10. Derler, P., & Weinreich, R. (2007). Models and tools for SOA governance. In D. Draheim & G. Weber (Eds.), Trends in Enterprise Application Architecture (Vol. 4473, pp. 112–126). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Ezzy, D. (2002). Qualitative Analysis: Practice and innovation. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  12. Falkl, J., Laird, R. G., Kreger, H., & Carrato, T. (August 2009). IBM Advantage for SOA Governance Standards. Retrieved from:
  13. Goldkuhl, G. (2012). Pragmatism vs interpretivism in qualitative information systems research. European Journal of Information Systems, 21(2), 135–146. doi: 10.1057/ejis.2011.54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grant, K., Hackney, R., & Edgar, D. (2010). Strategic information systems management. Hampshire: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  15. Hassanzadeh, A., Namdarian, L., & Elahi, S. b. (2011). Developing a framework for evaluating service oriented architecture governance (SOAG). Knowledge-Based Systems, 24(5), 716–730. doi: 10.1016/j.knosys.2011.02.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hojaji, F., & Shirazi, M. R. A. (2010a, 9–11 July 2010). AUT SOA governance: A new SOA governance framework based on COBIT. Paper presented at the 2010 3rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technology (ICCSIT), Chengdu.Google Scholar
  17. Hojaji, F., & Shirazi, M. R. A. (2010b, 5–10 July 2010). A Comprehensive SOA Governance Framework Based on COBIT. Paper presented at the 2010 6th World Congress on Services (SERVICES-1), Miami.Google Scholar
  18. Hojaji, F., & Shirazi, M. R. A. (2010c, 16–18 April 2010). Developing a more comprehensive and expressive SOA governance framework. Paper presented at the 2010 The 2nd IEEE International Conference on Information Management and Engineering (ICIME), Chengdu.Google Scholar
  19. Hojaji, F., & Shirazi, M. R. A. (2012). A design science approach to develop a new comprehensive SOA governance framework. International Journal of Managing Information Technology (IJMIT), 4(3). doi: 10.5121/ijmit.2012.4304.
  20. Hojaji, F., & Shirazi, M. R. A. (2013). Developing a more comprehensive SOA governance framework by using a comparative study approach. Iranian Journal of Information Processing Management, 28(4), 1103–1125.Google Scholar
  21. Holley, K., Palistrant, J., & Graham, S. (2006). Effective SOA Governace. On demand business. Retrieved from:
  22. ISACA. (2012). COBIT 5 - a business framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT Retrieved from
  23. ITGI. (2007a). Control Objectives for Information and Relates Technology (CoBIT) 4.1 Retrieved from
  24. ITGI. (2007b). Enterprise Value: Governance of IT Investments - The Val IT Framework 2.0 Retrieved from
  25. Jordan, E., & Musson, D. (2004). Corporate Governance and IT Governance: exploring the board’s perspective. Retrieved from: or
  26. Josuttis, N. M. (2007). SOA in practice - The Art of Distributed System Design. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media.Google Scholar
  27. Keen, M., Adamski, D., Basu, I., Chilcott, P., Eames, M., Endrei, M.,... Seabury, S. D. (December 2007). Implementing technology to support SOA governance and management Retrieved from
  28. Kuang-Yu, P., Shao-Chen, L., & Ming-Tsung, C. (2008, 18–19 Dec. 2008). A Study of Design and Implementation on SOA Governance: A Service Oriented Monitoring and Alarming Perspective. Paper presented at the IEEE International Symposium on Service-Oriented System Engineering, 2008. SOSE '08.Google Scholar
  29. Larrivee, B. (2007). SOA: no governance needed. Or Is It? AIIM E-DOC, 21(5), 24–25.Google Scholar
  30. Laurent, W. (2008). A better era of SOA governance. DM Review, 18(10), 29–29.Google Scholar
  31. Lee, J. H., Shim, H.-J., & Kim, K. K. (2010). Critical success factors in SOA implementation: an exploratory study. Information Systems Management, 27(2), 123–145. doi: 10.1080/10580531003685188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lundquist, E. (2009). The five next steps in service-oriented architectures. eWeek, 26(19), 22–22.Google Scholar
  33. Luthria, H., & Rabhi, F. (2008). Organizational Constraints to Realizing Business Value from Service Oriented Architectures: An Empirical Study of Financial Service Institutions. Service-Oriented Computing - Icsoc 2008, Proceedings, 5364, 256–270.Google Scholar
  34. Luthria, H., & Rabhi, F. (2009). Service-oriented computing in practice – an agenda for research into the factors influencing the organizational adoption of service oriented architectures. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 4(1), 39–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Luthria, H., Rabhi, F., & Briers, M. (2007). Investigating the potential of service oriented architectures to realize dynamic capabilities. 2nd Ieee Asia-Pacific Services Computing Conference, Proceedings, 390–397.Google Scholar
  36. Niemann, M., Eckert, J., Repp, N., & Steinmetz, R. (2008). Towards a Generic Governance Model for Service-oriented Architectures. Paper presented at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Toronto.Google Scholar
  37. Niemann, M., Janiesch, C., Repp, N., & Steinmetz, R. (2009, 1–3 June 2009). Challenges of governance approaches for service-oriented architectures. Paper presented at the 3rd IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies, 2009. DEST '09.Google Scholar
  38. Papazoglou, M. P., Traverso, P., Dustdar, S., & Leymann, F. (2008). Service-oriented computing: a research roadmap. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems, 17(2), 223–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parachuri, D., Badveeti, N., & Mallick, S. (2008, 6–11 July 2008). Light Weight SOA Governance A Case Study. Paper presented at the IEEE Congress on Services - Part I, 2008.Google Scholar
  40. Poi, S., Sleight, B., Viezel, J., & Snavely, D. (November 2007). Enabling SOA Through organizational Change and Governance - White Paper. Retrieved from
  41. Rabhi, F. A., Yu, H., Dabous, F. T., & Wu, S. Y. (2007). A service-oriented architecture for financial business processes. Information Systems and eBusiness Management, 5(2), 185–200.Google Scholar
  42. Simonsson, M., Johnson, P., & Ekstedt, M. (2010). The effect of IT governance maturity on IT governance performance. Information Systems Management, 27(1), 10–24. doi: 10.1080/10580530903455106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Smith, F. O. (2008). As SOA adoption solidifies, good governance is recognized as critical next step. Manufacturing Business Technology, 26(6), 48–49.Google Scholar
  44. SoftwareAG. (2008, 7 March 2011). Best Practices for SOA Governance User Survey. from
  45. Thomas Kohlborn, E. F., Korthaus, A., & Rosemann, M. (2009). Towards a service portfolio management framework. Paper presented at the 20th Australasian conference on information systems. Victoria: Monash University, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  46. Trochim, W. (2001). Research methods knowledge base. Cincinnati: Atomic Dog Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Varadan, R., Channabasavaiah, K., Simpson, S., Holley, K., & Allam, A. (2008). Increasing business flexibility and SOA adoption through effective SOA governance. IBM Systems Journal, 47(3), 473–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. WebMethods. (October 2006, March 2008). SOA Governance - Enabling Sustainable Success with SOA. Retrieved from
  49. Weill, P., & Ross, J. W. (2004). How top performers manage IT decision rights for superior results. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  50. Woolf, B. (2006). Introduction to SOA governance. developerWorks, Retrieved from:
  51. Yoon, T. E., & Carter, P. E. (2007). Investigating the Antecedents and Benefits of SOA Implementation: A Multi-Case Study Approach. Paper presented at the Americas Conference on Information Systems 2007, Keystone, Colorado.Google Scholar
  52. Zhang, Y., Xiang, G., & Liu, W. (2009, 26–27 Dec. 2009). On Airlines Sustainable Innovation Driven by SOA Governance. Paper presented at the 2009 International Conference on Information Management, Innovation Management and Industrial Engineering.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information Systems, Technology and ManagementUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations