- Cloud governance is a set of rules and policies adopted by companies that run services in the cloud.
- Organizations need to incorporate enterprise governance, corporate governance or conformance, and business governance in their system to achieve their goals. The recent inclusion in this list is cloud governance.
Given the many benefits of a cloud-native network, more and more organizations are transitioning to the cloud as it facilitates the development of systems and deployment of assets with more ease. Though the cloud promotes innovation and productivity, it can also cause issues like poor integration between cloud systems, duplication of data, lack of alignment between cloud systems and business goals, and new security issues such as lack of access control.
Cloud governance helps organizations ensure that data security, system integration, asset deployment, and other aspects of cloud computing are planned and managed properly. Cloud governance is highly dynamic as cloud systems are often created and maintained by different organization teams, involve third parties, and can change daily. It is here that cloud governance efforts make sure that complex environments meet organizational policies and cloud governance.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the best governance practices that can be followed by organizations to make the most of their cloud framework.
Cloud governance best practices
Irrespective of the organization’s size, a few best practices can help make the most of the cloud framework.
- Maintain focus on organizational goals
Whether an organization adopts a public, private or hybrid cloud, cloud governance models should prioritize the business. An organization’s long-term financial and strategic goals must be aligned with the cloud infrastructure and usage. In other words, the cloud framework must be designed such that every process and methodology within the cloud framework and those supporting it must help the business achieve desired outcomes.
It is important to clearly define cloud governance policies and make sure that all terms, benefits, and challenges of the policy are understood by all. This is even more important for organizations transitioning to the cloud as challenges and unknowns are high here.
As the first step in cloud migration, businesses must draft and convey the business objectives across the organization. Otherwise, this will result in disenchantment where the IT operations team is likely to operate and maintain an obscure cloud framework with business objectives that are either vague or completely unknown.
- Enforce strong security and access management policies
Disregarding security can be a great mistake as cloud environments encompass numerous connected devices and tool integrations, which creates more opportunities for cybercriminals to attack.
Averting security incidents is essential as it allows organizations to maintain a secure and efficient cloud ecosystem. This can be done by:
- Putting in place a DevSecOps model that blends security into all phases of development and operations.
- Detecting vulnerable defects during the early stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) using a left testing approach.
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools for authentication and authorization control.
- A security-as-code model that codifies security policies for automated delivery.
With centralized cloud security policy management, organizations can build a model that can proactively mitigate risks and help gain insights into flaws and failures.
- Minimize resource usage and costs
Cost optimization is critical for every business to increase its bottom line. IT teams can reduce costs with a strong governance mechanism in place that can help identify and eliminate idle resources and optimize the size of computing services.
The need is also for a policy framework that adopts practices such as discarding underutilized or unattached resources, designing applications that spin up resources on demand, leveraging heatmap tools, such as AWS CloudWatch, and planning out the usage of reserved instances for greater cost benefit.
So as to make this cost-efficient approach sustainable, one must blend and evolve these resource utilization practices across other practices.
- Emphasis on audit and compliance
Customer data safety and protection are becoming mainstream for regulatory purposes and company standards.
Cloud governance must define tools, processes, and personnel responsible for enforcing compliance within an existing workflow. Further, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) must equally adapt to a proven demonstration of regulatory requirements compliance, scope, and responsibilities.
Organizations can take additional actions to embed compliance, such as using a policy-as-code model that automates policy execution within a delivery pipeline. They can also include procedures for conducting frequent audits to embed compliance.
- Automation for accelerated delivery
Automation is one of the key elements that can act as the enabler as well as the outcome in any efficient cloud framework. Effective automation governance must enforce the adoption of tools, processes, and methodologies that help further automation. Such practices include the adoption of a DevOps model to automate delivery and integration, using tools for automated monitoring and alerts, enabling a container-based orchestration, and implementing persistent storage, databases, web servers, and virtual networks for faster application delivery.
An organization can increase cost benefits and prevent human errors by automating recurring processes.
Cultivate and maintain a well-structured cloud framework
Processes and procedures surely influence the efficiency of an organization’s cloud setup. The underlying architecture, too, is impacted.
Organizations must adapt and follow core principles that ensure that cloud-based applications are agile and resilient. Some of the fundamental practices of a well-architected framework fundamental practices are as below:
- Operational excellence: To make workloads run efficiently, it’s best to perform all operations as code, develop apps incrementally with small changes, and refine processes frequently.
- Security: Implement strong identity and access control to secure applications.
- Performance efficiency: Use serverless platforms that bring operational efficiency. Deploy workloads across multiple regions to reduce latency.
- Reliability: Have distributed workloads and utilize only the resources required for production workloads to allow Reliable applications to recover automatically.
- Cost optimization: Use cloud financial tools to help monitor resource usage and expenditure.
The approach to cloud governance varies, depending on the domain and organization. The above-mentioned best practices form the foundation for any successful cloud computing framework.
As for organizations opting for the cloud, a thorough assessment must be made of business macros, resources at hand, and personnel skills. These are the key factors that influence a seamless and successful migration.