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Engineering the Economies of Cloud Governance 

By Siva Perubotla

Social distancing, isolation and containment, and community spread have become part of the everyday lexicon as we are in the midst of a global health crisis. The most significant paradigm change, however, is in the way that enterprises work. Rotational shifts, flexible working hours, and extended work-from-homes have become a part of the new normal. Gartner estimates that about 15% of enterprises across India are preparing to increase the number of employees that work from home.

As a result, a growing percentage of business-critical functions are now migrating to cloud and hybrid architectures. Because, apart from ensuring seamless access to enterprise applications and resources to all authorised users, cloud computing offers more cost-effective provisioning of enterprise IT infrastructures. Processes and workflows can be scaled up as per the business requirement, swiftly and seamlessly. The distribution and delivery of services and features also become accessible and more manageable, while productivity is optimised by eliminating bottlenecks that typically plague on-premises IT operations. 

Need for robust, agile, and relevant cloud governance

The growing integration of cloud computing into enterprise IT architectures is driving fundamental transformations across all levels, whether technical, organizational, or procedural. Ensuring that these changes drive the expected benefits and help in accomplishing organisational objectives requires effective and efficient governance of cloud/hybrid processes, resources, and users.

Of the conversations around cloud computing and IT modernization, governance is a missing link in the discussions. Cloud computing alters the idea of governance from the traditional enterprise, due to the ease of service consumption and its pricing model. Traditional non-cloud frameworks such as information technology infrastructure library (ITIL), control objectives for information technologies (COBIT), the open group architecture framework (TOGAF), and the service oriented architecture (SOA) governance reference model (SGRM) are not well suited for such governance, as they do not support the flexibility and agility that cloud architectures demand. They also do not adequately cater to the division of responsibilities between business users and IT service providers – something that is extremely important in the dynamic realm of cloud computing. 

For instance, a framework might be characterized by organisations defining a script that will be executed by their cloud service providers, with applications either handpicked by enterprise stakeholders or pre-provisioned by the partner vendor. Such a framework requires different degrees of control to be combined in one IT environment and may vary in specifications from use-case to use-case.

Moreover, while cloud initiatives can have lifecycles of their own, the governance around them must be universal across all levels. As such, it becomes an ongoing process without a definitive lifecycle. AI-based cloud governance, therefore, becomes integral to a host of business applications – from tracking supply chains and executing critical tasks to securing resources and data against external threats and protecting against operational disruptions and service outages. Such cutting-edge cloud governance, therefore, becomes a transformative investment that can help enterprises achieve their business goals and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers and business users at scale. 

Partnering with domain-leading players, governance has become an increasingly on-negotiable requirement for enterprises looking to integrate AI-driven cloud frameworks into their IT operations. Doing so can empower organizations to drive accelerated growth by focusing on the right processes, as well as their centralized orchestration and governance, by leveraging the following differentiators:

  • Identity Baseline:

 Self-service catalogue is a process in which it addresses cloud provisioning challenges such as the increase in the time taken to provision a new account and the proliferation of cloud instances due to the lack of visibility and control. It also addresses other significant enterprise cloud challenges, such as not being able to centrally govern and manage applications, data, and users on the cloud. Also focuses on the different ways of establishing policies which ensured continuity and consistency for user identities irrespective of the cloud provider that hosts the application or workload.

  • Cost Optimization 

The cost optimization approach analyses the cloud data from multiple CSPs from different categories to generate in-depth insights about cost optimization and direct business users towards implementing these recommendations and drives operational savings. Customised governance policies also factor in the criticality of individual processes to help enterprises prioritise insight generation and implementation from a business perspective.

  • Deployment Acceleration:

Rapid and standardized deployment of resources results in a drastic reduction in cycle-time for new deployments for hybrid/public/on-premise cloud infrastructure, enabling better productivity. Moreover, by minimising the number of disconnected management tools in use and implementing processes by fully automating error-prone manual workloads, Brillio optimises cloud governance for more efficient operations.

  • Security Baseline: 

Security module provides appropriate compliance recommendations in sync with the regulations and laws of specific markets. It also ensures that the data is protected throughout the lifecycle and is destroyed as and when needed. 

  • Resource Consistency 

 It focuses on delivery performance is substantiated by integrated real-time dashboards for monitoring applications, workload, and asset performance. Cloud governance and resource consistency is maintained by following best practices and establishing policies related to effective SLA compliance (response and resolution), tracking the overall health and changes of the system, as well as real-time incident volumetric trend reports.

The success will depend on chief data officers and chief information officers making strategic investments to operationalize data governance and data management to ensure delivery of fit-for-use data and insights at an enterprise level. Between the dynamic changes in environments, new services being adopted by enterprises, and the rapid growth in many cloud environments, there is no way an organization can keep up without a governance strategy.

(The author is Associate Vice President, Digital Infrastructure, Brillio and the views expressed in the article are his own)

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