The Importance of Cloud Governance

The Importance of Cloud Governance

Cloud Governance refers to a set of rules designed to establish protections for access, costs and security in the cloud environment, while aligning it with your company’s goals and future trajectory.

An effective framework requires multiple people and teams, from finance and security officers, to operations staff and IT architects, among others, to come together in creating its policies and embracing its ownership.

Defining Your Framework

With cloud adoption growing at such an astounding rate, business leaders must ensure their IT infrastructure is organized and secure to maintain efficiency and demonstrate ROI. But with so many tools and options to choose from, it may be challenging to know where to begin – which is where governance frameworks come in – they provide clear policies and standards so businesses can manage their cloud infrastructure efficiently while keeping costs under control.

Every business has a different cloud governance requirement. If your industry is highly regulated, for instance, it’s essential that compliance comes first in terms of protecting company data and meeting industry standards. Furthermore, backup and disaster recovery mechanisms must be put in place should an emergency strike and it would also be wise to create a vulnerability assessment process so as to identify risks and implement corrective actions before becoming issues.

One key element of cloud governance that’s worth keeping in mind is setting clear access, cost and security rules for your cloud environment. This helps limit risks related to unauthorised access while preventing overprovisioning. Furthermore, it’s crucial that people responsible for managing and upholding these policies be clearly identified; consider adopting a policy-as-code model which allows your security policies to be coded directly into your system’s code; this will reduce operational overhead by cutting manual work out altogether while eliminating error-prone processes altogether.

An internal auditing process should also be established that will evaluate how closely your company adheres to cloud governance policies, helping identify any areas for improvement and making sure everyone in your organization knows how best to abide by them.

Aligning With Your Business Goals

Make sure that your governance policies align with your business goals by crafting simple yet authoritative policies rooted in your company values. This way, all employees know exactly what’s expected of them and who holds accountability for adhering to framework. Furthermore, this helps your team identify any potential gaps in cloud governance so that you can address them accordingly.

Once your framework has been put in place, it’s important to begin creating the processes and procedures required for effective cloud governance. This should include setting out guidelines for cloud resource provisioning, access management, change management and ongoing monitoring as well as creating workflows and approval systems which align with your overall cloud governance framework and help streamline processes and increase efficiency.

Additionally to establishing governance policies, you should also implement security best practices and processes that will protect the cloud data of your business. This means encrypting sensitive files while restricting who can access them. It would also be wise to conduct compliance audits regularly to monitor for breaches or vulnerabilities.

Finally, to achieve efficient and cost-effective data governance it’s key to take advantage of all of the cloud features your provider offers – like automatic document purging, variable retention scheduling, granular controls around content deletion and defensible discovery – in order to automate storage and management of your data and save both time and money while protecting it from cyber criminals or expensive penalties from regulators.

Effective cloud governance requires an experienced team with all of the tools and knowledge necessary for its management, but many businesses struggle to find time or resources needed for proper cloud administration.

Solution: Enlist the assistance of a reliable partner that can offer the expertise and solutions required for creating an efficient, comprehensive, and adaptable cloud governance framework. CDW’s Governance Workshop for AWS service is an ideal choice for companies that seek to maximize the value of their cloud investments by optimizing their cloud infrastructure and extracting maximum benefit from their investments.

Putting Your Trust in the Right People

Cloud governance requires a team of people who understand your business goals and are committed to upholding policies in the best interest of your company. Ideally, this should be implemented full time with dedicated resources in place so as to operate smoothly.

Be sure that the leadership of your organization fully endorses and trusts in the governance team to manage any potential issues that might arise; after all, governance is all about preventative medicine for your business and an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure!

One of the key components of a good governance model is ensuring visibility into cloud usage and resources within an organization, along with accountability for them. To accomplish this goal, companies can implement processes and tools that allow teams to track how their cloud platforms are being utilized, including which files they access. This feature can help reduce security risks by restricting who has access to certain files while simultaneously meeting compliance standards.

Financial governance of cloud environments also involves financial management, which involves keeping costs under control by monitoring usage of platforms, monitoring maintenance expenses for resources, and looking out for any underutilized assets that could reduce overall cloud expenses. A system must be put in place that tracks usage as well as costs related to each resource maintained on these platforms in order to optimize cost reduction and decrease overall expenses. This information can then be used by decision-makers when it comes to cutting resources back or eliminating them altogether to lower overall cloud expenses.

Operational governance is the final element of cloud governance. This involves setting protocols and procedures that ensure smooth operations and compliance with standards. This could involve things like encrypting data, verifying identity, and managing user permissions to keep sensitive information safe. Furthermore, operational governance includes practices for assessing and measuring performance as well as creating a framework to manage cloud data’s lifecycle.

Cloud governance can be an intricate topic. Because each business’s requirements differ significantly, you need to develop a framework tailored specifically for yours. By staying open-minded and taking an holistic view, you can set a path towards success that will propel its expansion.

Staying Flexible

Cloud governance policies can only be as effective as their supporting processes and people. Therefore, it’s crucial to take time periodically to review and modify them accordingly, to reflect industry changes, compliance regulations, or any other factors requiring revision.

Create an effective governance framework requires taking careful consideration of your business goals and technology principles you want to pursue. One effective approach for doing so is starting from your business model first and shaping policies around that – this way you can ensure your cloud infrastructure and usage support long-term financial and strategic business goals.

An effective governance framework should include operational management practices. This helps prevent shadow IT from expanding within your organization by ensuring only approved cloud resources are deployed in the environment. By setting guidelines to govern operations management practices, you can reduce employee frustration at being denied access to necessary tools, as well as reduce the chance of them resorting to personal cloud accounts for convenience purposes.

Strong access management is another cornerstone of good governance frameworks. It is easy to go too far when sharing files online, granting everyone access to data they don’t require or letting permissions expire when someone stops working on a project or leaves altogether – these pitfalls can create system vulnerabilities, increase risk exposure and raise spending without increasing productivity.

Implement a governance policy with policies for identity and access management, cost optimization and performance monitoring to avoid these issues. Adherence to compliance frameworks such as GDPR or HIPAA ensure that your business remains in line. Furthermore, multi-factor authentication, role-based access control (RBAC), and least privilege access should all be in place as essential safeguards against threats to your business’s survival.

An effective governance framework must include escalation procedures to quickly address and resolve any issues that arise, especially in complex, high-performance cloud environments where issues can affect a wide array of users.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.