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The significance of a cloud governance model

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By Nitin Mishra, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, NTT-Netmagic

In a fast paced world, many enterprises are considering multiple cloud options for different workloads. Hybrid cloud too has become an extremely popular option as it gives enterprises the ability to gain the best of both worlds — on-premise and public cloud. Research firm, Gartner predicts that by the end of calendar year 2020, 75% of organizations will have deployed a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud model.

However, a hybrid cloud poses a unique set of challenges for enterprises. A hybrid or multi-cloud IT infrastructure consists of multiple and sometimes disconnected IT infrastructure which can cause service disruptions. Other common issues include cloud related costs spiraling out of control, and many departments deploying or purchasing their own cloud related assets or software on the cloud. Enterprises, hence, need a proper governance framework that ensures that processes are standardized and tools for monitoring and governance can work across multiple cloud providers and onsite platforms. This is critical for ensuring easy and reliable access to on-demand services besides ensuring scalability and elasticity.

Forrester Research says that governance is “the ability to provide strategic direction, track performance, allocate resources, and make adjustments to ensure that organizational objectives are met, without breaching the parameters of risk tolerance or compliance obligations.” The cloud governance framework could include a set of policies for compliance, cost optimization or security.

In the absence of a cloud governance model or framework, organizations can face challenges with respect to budget overruns, compliance failures, increase in security risks, and misalignment with business objectives.

Benefits of a cloud governance model

Some of the key benefits of a cloud governance model include:

Improving visibility across multiple clouds: A cloud governance framework is extremely important in controlling costs as enterprises can analyze and monitor costs in a centralized location across different department units.

Reduced costs: A cloud governance model helps in reducing costs as cloud usage metrics can be analyzed at a central organization level across different business units or teams. Organizations can track this data to analyze and monitor costs and reduce spend by analyzing granular usage data to compare actual performance with provisioned capacity and identifying assets that can be quickly terminated for greater efficiency.

Improved security: A cloud governance model can help organizations establish via policies on how access is given to different entities, depending on their work profile. A cloud governance framework is also useful in highlighting and identifying vulnerabilities and taking proactive policy related actions to reduce the risk.

Optimizing infrastructure more appropriately: A cloud governance framework also helps enterprises arrive at more accurate capacity planning, and identify opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce spend. This can be done by analyzing granular usage data to compare actual performance with provisioned capacity and quickly identify assets that can be terminated for greater efficiency

Standardized cloud operations: By using a cloud governance model, organizations can automate their policy management to standardize cloud operations and increase operational efficiency and dedicate more time to strategic business initiatives and innovation. Alerts can be setup to notify organizations whenever escalations or deviations happen from the defined desired state.

Continuous compliance: A cloud governance model helps organizations in ensuring and sustaining compliance for different regulations such as NIST, SOC 2, GDPR, PCI and HIPAA. Organizations can track, monitor and address open violations and also enforce rules and audits to ensure that teams resolve issues in real time.

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