How to implement a cloud governance strategy for your company ?
Implementing a Cloud governance strategy involves several issues for a company. Cloud administration, solution monitoring, data security… Any migration to the Cloud requires a precise framework to ensure its long-term sustainability. It implies being able to evaluate your storage needs and capacities; to control your investments in the cloud services you adopt; to pool resources to gain flexibility and save money; and to improve your competitiveness by facilitating the adoption of innovative technologies. But how do you manage a cloud migration ? How to apply a Cloud governance policy adapted to your company? How to properly secure this new virtual space ?
What is Cloud Governance ?
To understand the concept of Cloud governance for your company, it is important to understand what Cloud Computing is. This concept refers to technology that uses IT infrastructure and services that are not installed “on-premise”, i.e. on the company’s premises, on site, on its own datacenter.
Cloud governance is when a company uses the cloud to “install” many of its processes. The cloud can host complex and heavy elements, adapting to the needs of each company. As a flexible solution, it allows companies to create their own systems and deploy them quickly.
Offering secure and ready-to-use cloud solutions, Microsoft Azure relies for example on a reliable and sustainable global infrastructure that is denser than any other provider. However, as with any technical solution, it must be properly managed to control usage, control costs and secure data. It is therefore up to the company to set up an appropriate policy. This policy defines organizational standards to allow and facilitate the work of each team member. It is therefore essential to frame these new ways of working with a cloud governance adapted to its information system and its organization.
Generally speaking, cloud governance is not a new way of managing company resources. In fact, it takes the best practices recommended in all management processes and applies them to its operation. For example, an organization’s cloud governance policy addresses operations management, financial management, and security and compliance management.
How to set up a policy and define organizational standards ?
It is important to follow several steps in order to set up a governance policy and structure the deployment of your company’s information system on the Cloud.
Define the Cloud governance policy according to your company’s objectives
The policy to adopt depends in part on the regulations of the company’s industry. For example, if the regulations are strong, a strict cloud governance policy will be chosen. On the contrary, if agility is at the heart of the company, a more flexible governance policy will be more relevant. In any case, the cloud touches sensitive functions and centralizes key business processes. So while each company has some latitude to manage it as it sees fit, defining a cloud governance policy remains the foundation. And this is true whether your company opts for a public cloud, a private cloud or a hybrid cloud.
Among other essential questions, before proceeding with the cloud migration, this policy must take into account the company’s architecture. This is to better prevent disruptions caused by this change and anticipate the new data management.
Framing the implementation of financial governance
By opting for cloud computing, a company chooses to outsource its storage. It is thus freed from the costs generated by in-house servers; it can quickly expand or reduce the storage space available according to needs; it offers itself more modern, high-performance and scalable solutions.
On the other hand, this gain in flexibility also leads to greater variations in costs from one period to the next. Therefore, good cloud governance is also about controlling the investments made in these solutions. It therefore follows precise KPIs to optimize the use of the solutions chosen.
In this way, cloud financial governance avoids unexpected expenses. One practice, for example, is to set up budget portfolios. Linked to services or users, they alert the authorized user when the limit is crossed or about to be crossed. In this way, each employee has his or her own resources that he or she can manage freely.
The automation of processes is opposed to actions that would be carried out one by one, manually, by a team member. Thus, it offers significant advantages in various respects.
On the one hand, it relieves teams of time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Human resources can therefore concentrate on higher value-added missions. Moreover, automation avoids human errors, which can lead to security breaches and violations of privacy policies.
On the other hand, by reducing human intervention, automation (or cloud automation) makes it possible to standardize cloud management processes. Where each human makes different choices, relies on their own organizational rules, or deviates from established processes, making it difficult to communicate with other team members, automation unifies the processes and follows predefined rules.
It is therefore one of the key solutions for defining organizational standards. As a preliminary step, it then makes it much easier to monitor the cloud and secure the data that passes through it. As a result, it has its place in a company’s cloud governance policy.
How to monitor and secure your cloud environment ?
Theorizing a cloud governance policy is not enough to ensure the sustainability of your company’s IT system. So, once you have rationalized your operational and financial needs, you need to confront them with reality. And in particular to put order in the existing to ensure a smooth migration to the cloud. That way, you can make the most of the benefits of the cloud.
Carry out an inventory of the assets present on the Cloud space
This first step helps to understand how the assets work, and to better understand the risks inherent in them. With this step, it becomes possible to more effectively plan and budget for actual cloud storage capacity. When these assets are monitored, each company can create policies based on their organization and stakeholders.
It’s also an opportunity to do a thorough housekeeping of the company’s assets. Remove unnecessary elements, identify constraints, optimize the organization… In this way, the migration to the cloud is no longer a simple change of tool, it also allows to make room for the employees who use it on a daily basis. In addition, this inventory of cloud assets allows you to ensure that your needs, resources and solutions are in line…
Define cloud-specific security standards
Cloud security depends on a shared responsibility model between the cloud operator and the customer. To avoid worries, a good practice is to manage access to the cloud. This way, only authorized team members will actually have access. Moreover, for the cloud, as for all other cybersecurity and data management issues, awareness training can be provided to teams.
This vigilance is all the more important because a considerable portion of cybersecurity problems come from human agents. It has even exploded by 400% since the beginning of the health crisis, with the widespread use of telecommuting.
Thus, defining security standards in its cloud governance policy is like conducting a risk management policy. It is therefore advisable to carry out an audit of the infrastructure and processes to identify any weaknesses in the environment. This way, the company can find adapted solutions to limit the negative consequences in case of failure.
It should also be noted that the security standards of each space depend on the type of data of each company. Depending on their degree of sensitivity, their location or their level of protection, it is possible to apply different levels of security.
Castelis, Azure, AWS and GCP partner for a secure and efficient cloud
Castelis is a specialist of cloud solutions (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform). As a long-time partner, we build in the cloud all or part of your IS, your websites and applications. Thus, Castelis advises and supports companies at all stages of the project. Audit, migration to the cloud, optimization, cloud outsourcing, maintenance…
The Cloud governance proposed by Azure, just like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform, guarantees perfect control over applications and resources. This solution covers the management of your IT in the cloud in its entirety. You can easily manage the configuration of systems, monitoring or ensure the governance of your cloud.
More precisely, Castelis invests alongside its customers to manage their cloud. Thus, more than an accompaniment to the implementation, we propose the maintenance of web applications to ensure their availability 24 / 24 and 7 / 7. Thus, we set up monitoring and alerting actions. We also manage incidents, backups, patches and vulnerabilities, ERP and BCP, middleware, application and system logs, network and firewalls.
Beyond a total or partial outsourced management, we also work in project mode according to the needs and provide customized documentation to allow each company to make the best use of its cloud resources.
Castelis cloud governance also consists in ensuring the performance of solutions and optimizing costs. Companies have access to dedicated reports based on key indicators.
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