When the data is stored on the legacy on-premise architecture, it’s becoming more complicated to track how data is stored and processed. Such an approach can also be inefficient regarding resource use and increased costs associated with data storage. To overcome these challenges, enterprises, when migrating to the cloud, must adapt the cloud governance model to process control and get a clear overview of the ongoing cloud processes.
Adopting a cloud governance framework is crucial for modern businesses. Lacking governance can jeopardize the essence of cloud transitions and cloud use. The underlying problem is that a transition to the cloud cannot guarantee resource efficiency in costs, security, and operational processes. In this article, we discuss the benefits of cloud governance, review the possible deployment models, and look at featured use cases.
Benefits of establishing a cloud governance model
Cloud computing accelerates businesses to release new services, increase productivity, and encourage innovation. However, a cloud governance framework needs to provide a structure for organizations to ensure that their investment supports business objectives. The crucial benefits of establishing governance principles are as follows:
- Cutting unnecessary cloud costs. As the infrastructure and workloads are scaling, the unorganized use of cloud technologies inevitably leads to higher costs. The presence of idle time and the overall inefficiency towards resource use can lead to excess spending. Although modern cloud solutions have the agility to manage instances, leaving this part of work ungoverned is the first sign of the project’s cost inefficiency.
- Reshaping data protection. Whether you have an on-premise facility or use a public cloud, compliance with GDPR and industry regulations requires a renewed approach to data protection. Thus, governance helps in establishing a strategy for access management. Ultimately, the access management delivers transparency that ensures appropriate security measures are in place.
- Decreasing third-party risks. The risks might come from third-party sources when working with the cloud. Establishing a transparent cloud governance model will ensure formalized control over third parties, including platform providers and security vendors. From the long-term perspective, it minimizes considerable risks, such as data breaches.
- Ensuring resource consistency. Ensuring resource configuration consistency is one of Microsoft Azure’s Cloud Governance Principles. Its primary uses relate to the monitoring of applications, workload, and asset performance. Ensuring policies related to operational management will help accomplish the outlined performance and execute workloads to meet scaling and service-level agreement demands.
- Accelerating deployment. As the field of governance matures, it inevitably becomes the partner in DevOps and deployment strategies. A well-rounded model can accelerate deployment through consistency and centralization, clearly showing what resources are utilized in each instance. One possible example is the application of reusable assets and components in Azure that remove barriers to cloud adoption.
Cloud technologies and deployment models that help govern the infrastructure
Governance policies have to extend to all aspects of cloud use. When it comes to variations of cloud technologies and deployment models, four types stand out. Let’s review each to better understand how governance differs across each model.
Private-cloud and on-premise solutions have been regarded as straightforward concerning their management. Clients, in this scenario, are responsible for weighing the control over investment, updates, and management of the designated project.
In turn, IaaS solutions refer to delivery infrastructure services hosted in external cloud environments. These can include hosted private clouds or public cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. Clients, in such instances, are responsible for data protection, business continuity, and compliance.
PaaS solutions concern the use of a cloud platform to design, build-out, and deploy various applications. Governance in PaaS embraces simplified collaboration and a more scalable approach. Moreover, PaaS solutions support cloud-native development technologies, such as Kubernetes and serverless computing.
SaaS is a hosted server solution that is located in a cloud environment. However, in such instances, the client is responsible for auditing the provider and ensuring that the transit data is secure. The SaaS vendor hosts the application and all related infrastructure, including servers, storage, and data storage.
Cloud governance best practices
The following are the best practices for each facet of your organization's well-rounded cloud governance framework.
- Mapping out responsibility assignment matrix. It’s common for enterprises to map governance practices to all stakeholders involved. Using the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, it’ll become transparent to hold all stakeholders accountable for their actions. This approach ensures clear communication on who is responsible for particular processes.
- Automation. The critical principle of governance is automation, which ensures that all the processes and workloads are well-documented. When the environment is deployed, it’s a must to manage it and ensure that all commitments are pushed into a repository that maps out the entire environment. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) principles will help to speed up the process and make it easier to deploy specific changes.
- Minimizing resource usage and costs. Resource usage optimization is one of the most crucial pillars of working with the cloud. It’s a must to check the logs for unused processes, instances, or apps. Additionally, running a regular audit of cloud usage will give a better picture of resource usage.
- Audits and compliance. Regular checks for data safety and protection for regulatory requirements and company standards are obligatory. When it comes to governance, it should outline the procedures for conducting regular compliance audits. On top of that, it’s necessary to present a clear outline of tools and processes responsible for enforcing compliance with the specified regulations.
Cloud governance in action: N-iX success stories
Governance in the cloud era is best explained when reviewing the success stories of companies that adopted this approach. When cutting costs or migrating from the legacy infrastructure, governance is a crucial principle. Below are the success stories where the N-iX team delivered excellence in cloud computing and governance.
1. Legacy infrastructure migration for an enterprise product site
Orbus Software is an independent software vendor and a leading provider of software solutions in Enterprise Architecture, Application Portfolio Management, and Business Process Analysis. This client needed a legacy infrastructure migration for an enterprise product site and a cloud governance framework. The project’s main challenges for N-iX’s team were:
- Legacy on-premise architecture
- Implementation of orchestration and multi-tenancy
- Setting up production-grade infrastructure in Azure
N-iX has helped Orbus Software to implement multi-tenancy and orchestration and update the legacy infrastructure as a whole.
As a result of cooperation, the client managed to achieve:
- Faster time-to-market thanks to the implemented CI/CD process
- Reduced costs associated with migrating to the IaaS
- Optimized creation of fully set-up environments
2. Reducing costs for a global telecommunications enterprise
Lebara is one of Europe’s fastest-growing mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) that operates across ten countries and has millions of active customers. The company offers Pay As You Go mobile SIM cards and related services for migrant communities. The client needed to improve the legacy IT architecture and undergo a complex digital transformation using cloud technologies. Concerning the cloud and microservices, N-iX’s team helped the client to migrate its solutions from on-premise to the cloud. In particular, the project included the migration using the multi-cloud strategy, using AWS and Azure. The main project challenges were to:
- Provide transparent and automated CI/CD process for developers in AWS
- Design a fully automated CI/CD pipeline in Azure
- Decrease deployment time for both environments
- Introduce applications and infrastructure monitoring
- Migrate to Azure Kubernetes services
Cloud migration and a subsequent cloud governance model allowed Lebara to improve scalability. Consequently, reducing the infrastructure-related costs and the digital transformation of legacy infrastructure led to innovation, decreased load times, and improved overall performance.
Why choose N-iX for your cloud governance project?
- Our Cloud expertise includes cloud governance as well as application transformation, cloud modernization, and data services;
- N-iX has a talent pool of 2,000+ specialists, with 120+ certified cloud experts ready to tackle the governance planning or execution challenges;
- The company’s Cloud portfolio spans delivered projects for top enterprises, such as Lebara, Gogo, AVL, Currencycloud, TuneIn, Orbus Software, and more;
- N-iX is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with various competencies and designations. Also, we have Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Competency and a Partner Level status in the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program;
- The company’s information security, quality management system and infrastructure comply with the highest standards and regulations, including GDPR, PCI/DSS, ISO27001, ISO9001, and ISO 27001:2013.