07 May 2020
By Paul Riddle
In this series of blogs we look at why having a solid foundation is paramount for a successful cloud adoption. In the first blog and second blog we looked at why Cloud Readiness is a key part of your cloud roadmap and why implementing a Cloud Strategy clearly defines the business outcomes you seek. In the final blog of the series we look at why strong Cloud Governance policies are vital to cloud success.
Cloud Governance is the people, process, and technology associated with your cloud infrastructure, security, and operations.
Strong governance policies are key to cloud success. From the decision-making processes, through planning, architecture, acquisition, deployment, operation and to management of the cloud solution, having the right resources at every stage, ensures excellent execution and compliance with the latest regulations.
When you run a business in the cloud, there are a few rules you have to comply with. Generally, these rules relate to personal privacy and data security, and they can vary according to the industry you operate in. Typically the rules are no different from those you have to comply with when you run a business on an on-premises IT infrastructure. It’s only the landscape that is different.
Without governance, you will quickly find your cloud environment spiralling out of control. Between the pace of change in environments, new services being adopted by engineering, and the rapid growth in many cloud environments, there is no way you and your team can keep up without a governance strategy.
Some of the most common issues that a cloud governance strategy can negate are:
Your enterprise needs to know exactly what workflows should be done in the cloud and which ones shouldn’t. To ensure consistency across your enterprise, you should outline common tasks that you want to apply a cloud solution to. Then, you can inform your teams on that solution.
A cloud environment should be more cost efficient for your business. This turns out to be true most of the time, but your enterprise needs to work to make its cloud operations cost efficient. Unnecessary cloud usage means that you’re wasting resources and money.
Security remains one of the top issues that worry businesses adopting the cloud. Part of establishing a successful security plan is ensuring your teams don’t introduce security risks into the cloud environment. Your governance framework should include policies that inform your employees of practices that safeguard the cloud from security threats.
If you don’t have policies in place that examine how well your cloud environment is performing, your company can’t accurately judge where there’s room for improvement. Your cloud vendor may provide native monitoring tools or recommend you use third-party systems for it. Whatever the case, you can include policies on cloud performance to ensure that your performance baselines are being met.
The entire ecosystem of cloud governance ensures that all your enterprise expenditures related to the cloud are aligned with the business objectives. It promotes data integrity across the enterprise, encourages innovation, and mitigates the risk of data loss or non-compliance with regulations. It also recognises that cloud computing increases the pervasive nature of IT and helps enterprise-level decision-makers to address the overall IT investment, resource requirements, opportunities for value; and implications of risk – regardless of your organisation or cloud provider.
Your company won’t achieve a successful cloud operation immediately. You’ll have to adjust your cloud strategy and policies as you move forward. Managing your cloud environment helps you understand how you need to adjust them. Cloud governance frameworks should be examined at various stages of the cloud adoption process, even years after the initial implementation. If you aren’t modifying your framework to account for new processes and better cloud expertise, your company is likely to lose efficiency and productivity. Thus, your company needs to be flexible in how it governs your cloud operations.