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Key pillars of cloud governance and challenges

As the shift to cloud continues, we’re all aware of the benefits: lower costs, greater scalability, and increased agility.

However, it’s important that we consider not just the advantages of cloud governance, but also the challenges.

When you’re in charge of your organisation’s data, security and compliance with regulations, you need to be aware of the risks and challenges involved in moving to and managing a cloud environment.

What is cloud governance?

Cloud governance is the process of managing and monitoring the use of cloud computing, and deals with the rules and regulations that govern the cloud. It includes both the policies and processes that are needed to manage cloud computing, as well as a company’s ability to enforce those policies and processes.

It is important for businesses to have the right cloud governance in place because it helps them to control costs, reduce risk, and increase efficiency. Cloud governance also provides an overall strategy for managing the cloud services which helps to ensure that the organisation’s goals are being met.

The goal of cloud governance is to ensure that public clouds are safe, secure, and reliable.

Principles and pillars of cloud governance

The principles of cloud governance are meant to ensure that the data and applications in the cloud are secure and available. They also ensure that there is no unauthorised access to data or applications in the cloud.

Pillars of cloud governance:

  • Privacy protection
  • Data management
  • Security and compliance
  • Risk management
  • Transparency
  • Accountability

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) states that a cloud governance model should be built on the cybersecurity, privacy, and risk management frameworks or procedures that already exist within your business.

Challenges of cloud governance

Every business that has moved to the cloud has faced challenges and risks. These challenges may include:

  • Protecting company data in case of a system failure.
  • Protecting sensitive information from unauthorised access by third parties.
  • Ensuring compliance with data protection regulations when the data moves between country borders.

The lack of transparency in cloud governance can lead to many issues, such as data leakage or theft. This is because the user cannot control what happens with their data once they upload it on a third-party server. So, there is a need for better transparency in cloud governance to avoid these issues from happening.

Cloud security is another issue that needs to be addressed in order for organisations to have better control over their data and prevent any incidents from happening

Data is often stored in different locations, and it can be difficult for a business to control who can access it. Organisations need to make sure that they have a clear data governance policy that specifies what data they will store on the cloud, and how they will share or protect it from unauthorised access.

Preparing for cloud governance

The first step in preparing for the challenges of cloud governance is to plan ahead. Assessment, analysis, and planning are the three pillars to a successful transition to cloud. You need to know what your business’ needs are before you can decide on the size, type, and location of the cloud service that will best meet those needs.

Consider:

  • What data or applications will you move?
  • How much data and what applications will be moved?
  • Is workload balancing needed?
  • Do you need storage as well as processing power?
  • Do you need geographic distribution of your applications or data?
  • What is the budget?

Any successful digital project will also include risk assessment and mitigation strategies.

When assessing the risk:

  • identify it
  • assess its likelihood and impact
  • determine whether it’s avoidable or not, and if so, how
  • assess controls that may mitigate risk
  • implement appropriate controls

Risk assessment is an ongoing process that should be repeated every time there is a change in business direction, or whenever new technology is introduced into the mix. Mitigation strategies should be part of the original design for any digital project – such as migrating to a cloud.

This will help to ensure that your business can deal with peaks and valleys in workloads. Preparing yourself for downtime and increases in workloads is crucial when moving to a cloud environment.

Cloud governance best practises

Make the best of your cloud governance strategy:

  • Understand compliance risks and perform a risk assessment.
  • Establish a cloud governance structure.
  • Take stock of existing data and systems.
  • Define a migration strategy with a plan.
  • Develop an accountability framework for enforcement.
  • Prepare for regulatory changes.

Get help from the cloud specialists

To ensure compliance and data regulation in the cloud, it’s important to prepare for any challenges that you may face.

The cloud technicians at INTELLIWORX will help you identify security issues, understand your compliance position, keep your cloud infrastructure up-to-date, and much more. Talk to them about your business needs today.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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