Greg Hoelzer

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Shouldn’t Software Governance Practices be more Descriptive than Prescriptive?

Compass-Rose-BWIn the current world of DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Microservices, and PaaS many organizations want to know how Software Governance practices and requirements fit.  Some of this comes from a regulatory perspective, ensuring compliance (e.g HIPAA/PHI, SOX, PCI) and auditing requirements are met.  Another perspective focuses on existing technology standards, design practices, and application architecture.  At the same time developers and teams are being told to be more agile, adaptable, and self-directed.  How do we achieve the latter while mitigating the risks associated with the former?

I would argue that a “Descriptive” approach to Software Governance is required.  In my perfect world, Solution Architectures are monitored for exception as they progress through the delivery process.  The technical underpinnings of systems, in terms of infrastructure and software, are “described” in code and configuration that can be easily audited against established policies.  The runtime implementation of a particular solution is then transparent to all interested parties.  In many ways, this is just an extension of Open Source practices to the delivered solutions and systems themselves.

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