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Talking about standards in IT governance, I feel less is more.

To keep an organization moving in a consistent direction, high-level and general principles are needed. The creation of software ultimately is an intellectual enterprise in a space entirely of our own imagination and creation. The rules put into place are our own and very loosely bound by physical rules and realities. It is better to have a few guiding principles rather than a number of constraining rules and "standards". In Communications of the ACM, a statement was made that, “Software seems to be subject to fewer such rules [than hard sciences] and is therefore perhaps more like math itself. How does math do design? It provides a few super principles (such as ‘all work must be based on a rigorous proof’), discovering the rest as it goes along”.

Governance needs to be about "super principles” that we expect our IT personnel to abide by when creating solutions to business problems.

These general principles would something like:

• Adherence to a Service oriented Architecture (SOA)
• Adherence to an Event Driven Architecture (EDA) that supports the SOA
• Adherence to a Real-time Processing Model that supports the SOA
• Adherence to a Customer-Centric Business Model that supports the SOA

Within each of these principles, additional guidance can be given, but these major points should drive IT development efforts.

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