Slums do get developed
Slums are undesirable
Slums need to be contained and eventually removed.
SOA helps containment and removal of slums
Only point of disagreement is about effective governance. Todd argues that effective governance can make sure that slums don’t spring up in first place. Conversely if slums are springing up, governance is in-effective.
My contention is that such a governance mechanism may be difficult to establish in some cases. Todd has rightly pointed out that different governance models need to exist for organizations with different focus (viz. squeezing value v/s growth). However the organization I was working with was in both these modes simultaneously. It is an organization created out of many m&a in very short time frame. It is common (well this is my opinion and I have no data) for these organization to use one part of merged entity to grow another part of merged entity, while squeezing value out of first part. Moreover value creation (growth) is not always driven by normal value chain (viz. design >> build >> sell >> service). In this particular case a clever business person had figured out a financial engineering plan to release some (millions of dollars) value away from the normal value chain and IT support was required to hasten this plan.
In such cases it appears that it is really difficult to have governance mechanisms reconciling both these (growth and squeezing value) situations. What we had was a 'squeezing value' focused governance mechanism. So many IT asset were created (which were really growth focused) outside of normal (squeezing value focused) governance. There was a danger that these assets were then further utilized by normal (squeezing value focused) projects. So we had a slum and danger of creating an ecosystem that would be developed with slum as its center.
We could avert dependency on slum by some governance scheme. But then there were debates about not utilizing this slum that was already there. The projects not using the slums were seen as redeveloping those capabilities 'unnecessarily'. The slums creation got away without governance controls imposed on it, because it was part of 'growth' focused effort and evaded 'squeezing value focused' governance. But later projects not using the slum were caught in a debate because they were under 'squeezing value' focused governance.
The key questions then is how to have a reconciled governance catering for growth and squeezing value, which will then enable transition assets from 'growth' governance model to 'squeezing value' governance model?
My belief is that answer to this question will provide effective governance as suggested by Todd and SOA will be part of that answer. Then instead of developing slums we'll develop temporary camping sites which do provide some capabilities and are governed. These are transient capabilities waiting to be mainstreamed and made permanent, if required.
If it is not too late, I would love to hear Todd touch upon some of these issues in his upcoming webinar.