All too often, when it comes to matters of the cloud, nomenclatures are used interchangeably. The terms ‘Cloud governance’ and ‘Cloud management’ are one such example, frequently used in place of one another. Nonetheless, there is a clear distinction between the two. Cloud Governance focuses on establishing continuous guardrails per the corporate and industry policies to ensure smooth flow of Cloud operations. Cloud management complements Governance by focussing on simplifying provisioning and consumption of Cloud resources by abstracting the technical complexities.

The Role of Cloud Governance

Cloud governance pertains to a roster of rules, policies, and processes that systemically streamlines your business’s operations on Cloud. It underscores the usage terms of virtual assets, concerning who can use what and when. It also establishes how assets should be safeguarded against harmful internal and external data threats. In turn, the rules of cloud governance can go a long way in regulating asset programming, audit threads, broad-range user accounts, password breaches, multi-factor authentication, and data recovery protocols.

The State of Cloud Infrastructure Governance 2017 Survey, conducted by Fugue and covering 300 IT professionals, revealed that 28% of respondents doubted whether their IT networks were secure.

The survey1] also highlighted the following:

  • 62% of IT professionals refer to manual reviews before approving cloud infrastructure
  • 42% of companies have no cloud governance model in place
  • 68% of professionals maintain physical checklists to validate infrastructure policies
  • 31% of developers lack insight into infrastructural risk

With the rapid rise of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud adoption, the demand for Cloud Governance is like never.

Scope of a Cloud Governance Model

Cloud governance does not just provide a security facade to organizations operating in the Cloud. Its rules, policies, and processes have universal application across an enterprise, extending to financial management, cost optimization, and asset performance management.

A robust Cloud governance model should overarch six key domains

  • Financial planning: Cloud services help reduce lead times and business planning cycles
  • Service provider management: A business ecosystem with clear expectations on deliverables can help demarcate responsibilities between the Cloud provider and customer
  • Portfolio management: A business’s existing portfolio must be examined to see how and where Cloud can be implemented in standardizing repeatable processes
  • Future-fit integration: Provision for newer technologies and resources must be built into the Cloud model
  • Enterprise architecture: Cloud adoption must sync well with the existing enterprise architecture of an organization
  • Operations: Service support during and after transitioning to Cloud  must be provided to users to ensure appropriate control and minimize escalations

The Key Advantages of a Cloud Governance Model

  1. Allows for a Cloud-centric IT operating engine seeded in speed, agility, and cost minimization
  2. Enables transparent Cloud decision-making amongst departments and fosters accountability
  3. Provides a robust foundation for investment, risk and other strategic decisions
  4. Eliminates the formation of shadow Clouds and prevents spurious activities that could be financially or morally detrimental
  5. Incorporates Cloud into the existing IT framework in a seamless way

With enterprises now capable of performing a ground-breaking action at the tap of a keyboard, a well-defined governance model can help maintain sanctity in day to day Cloud operations. So, that enterprises can confidently march forward in their quest to be Digital winners.


[1] IT Chronicles

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