Zapthink posted an interesting description of a role they call VP of SOA. Todd Biske argued that many of the tasks in this role belong to the Chief Architect and a dedicated role of VP of SOA is unjustified. My view is somewhere in between. As someone trying to fulfill both the role of the Chief Architect and the role Zapthink describes as the VP of SOA, I can honestly say that this can be a lot to juggle. I have fallen victim to becoming so engaged in the VP of SOA role that at times I am not totally fulfilling my duties as the Chief Architect. After all, the Chief Architect is responsible for the architecture of the entire enterprise, which SOA is a subset of. My solution is not to create another high paying role like the VP of SOA but instead give my enterprise architects more responsibility and decision making power to free me up enough to take on SOA and EA. This creates a cascading effect where the tech leads then need to step up to the plate and take on some of the enterprise architects' tasks. This creates opportunities for many people as opposed to one highly paid guru and allows you to build a stronger team over time.
I work in a 200 person IT shop so creating VP positions is harder to come by then if I worked in a 1200 person IT shop. In a larger company, especially one with a distributed IT staff, I can definitely see the justification for a VP of SOA. In a centralized IT shop like the one I work in, I think the VP of SOA and the Chief Architect should be the same person. Your thoughts?
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