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4 Ways Governance Optimizes Your Cloud Business

06.05.15

by Pardees Safizadeh

Cloud computing solutions have given organizations more flexible, scalable, and efficient ways of managing data than traditional IT service management solutions. As more and more organizations transition their entire data centers to the cloud, they are experiencing new cloud management intricacies that simply did not exist in the pre-cloud era:

  • disparate data sets
  • highly volatile and transient data
  • pricing complexity from multiple vendors

If your business is successful, there’s a high probability your cloud ecosystem will become considerably more complex. You will need to manage and track infrastructure changes including: purchasing new resources, modifying and terminating unused or underutilized assets, shifting assets in your environments, managing potential security risks and maintaining the integrity of your business’ guidelines. In the meantime you’re already managing another complex ecosystem - your business. Since you most likely have policies in place to manage and keep your business running smoothly, why not apply a similar approach to your cloud?

Here are four ways using cloud governance will allow you filter out the noise and target the key parts of your cloud that need optimization:

1. Consistent Implementation and Optimal Resource Utilization Across Organizations

When you’re managing a large team, defining policies that allow you to govern the cost, availability, security, performance and usage of your cloud infrastructure becomes paramount. Creating guidelines that define the most appropriate infrastructure for each application, workload or environment provides consistency across the organization. Taking this one step further, you should also define governance rules that will target thresholds for utilization of active resources (what happens when something is underutilized or unused), when to spin up new resources (what happens when resources or clusters of resources near maximum capacity), and requirements for launching resources (e.g. proper tags).

2. Save time and focus on key aspects of your products or services

If you’re managing a large scale environment, you’re already painfully aware that you have too many moving parts to pay attention to and manually fix. Most organizations don’t want to dedicate extra resources or risk human error when managing a large scale cloud environment. In the interest of time and accuracy, you really only want to look at the anomalies or areas with trends that will adversely impact your business. This is where setting policies that will notify you of exceeded thresholds, underutilized assets, or anything else that falls out of compliance can make a big impact on productivity within your organization.

3. Simplify Decision-Making

Having guidelines in place will give you the confidence to make decisions that affect your business. Instead of seeing your cloud as a black box you can see your infrastructure in aggregate or by specific group for a set of customers, allowing you to align your service level commitments with your infrastructure. A holistic view of your cloud’s cost, usage, performance and security trends will help you put the right guidelines in place so decision making becomes easy. For example, once you build the infrastructure for the service levels you want to deliver, you can create the right policies and actions to meet your SLA’s as your organization grows.

4. Enable Quick Courses of Action

Governance empowers organizations to quickly assess risks and common errors and immediately mitigate or eliminate them. Creating a series of policies with "if-then" scenarios will notify you when an event occurs that is not in line with your policy and let you take appropriate action through an approval workflow. For example, if you are running an infrastructure for a mobile advertising platform your instances will have a very short life cycle, in some cases less than 24 hours. If your instances are still running a week later, and you don’t have a policy with notification to tell you it’s running..you’ve just racked up a lot of unnecessary charges.

Final Thoughts

Although launching instances for new services and products is as easy as a push of a button, organizations need to be vigilant when running a complex cloud ecosystem. The most efficient clouds require best practices defined at the organizational level along with automated and user-aware day-to-day governance that eliminates time-consuming tasks so your IT team can spend their time managing services and products instead of cloud ecosystems.