Your organization has taken to the cloud-first approach. You now must figure out how to implement cloud governance best practices to get the most out of the cloud. 

When your organization’s systems are all on-premises, you have a great deal of control over costs, security risks, and who accesses your data. But it’s a different ball game when you move to the cloud. It’s easy to lose control.

Many organizations are taking a cloud-first approach and pursuing a hybrid cloud setup. Consequently, IT teams must implement cloud governance.

Your organization needs to create cost, security, and access rules for applications and data residing in the cloud. But these rules should not impede employees’ ability to take advantage of the cloud’s benefits.

Admittedly, it can be a tricky balance. And every organization will take a slightly different approach. Nonetheless, here are some cloud governance best practices you should follow

Structure and Classify Your Data

Start by setting guidelines for your data. You should know the kind of data you have, who can access it, where you’ve stored it, and how it travels through your organization. This is particularly important because of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations demand you allow customers to access any data you collect about them. They can even request a deletion.

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to do this when you don’t know what data you have or where you’ve stored it.

With this in mind, put in place processes to clean, organize, and classify all your data. You will reap the benefits as the organization grows.

Implement Access and Identity Management

You need to establish who can access your data. Identity and access management helps organizations to guard against unauthorized access and govern user policies. If you have a small organization, the process is straightforward. In fact, you can manage all users via the cloud management portal.

It’s a lot more complicated for large organizations. For instance, you might want to tie user authentication back to an authentication and directory service, such as Microsoft Active Directory. To do this, you can use existing services or build a customized access management system.

You must define and manage user roles, privileges, and authorizations. This lets each user access only the applications, data, and functionalities he or she needs to do his or her job.

Manage Costs

Managing costs is at the core of cloud governance best practices. Failure to keep track of your permissions and data can lead to a spike in cloud costs. For instance, unused applications left running can run up your cloud bills. Worse yet, cloud billing is often complex, especially for organizations that use multiple cloud providers. For this reason, you should track and analyze cloud spend. You can use cloud-native tools or go for a third-party tool, such as CloudBolt.

Secure Your Cloud Deployment

Security is often a big concern for organizations moving to the cloud. How much security you need will vary based on the needs of your organization. But, at the very least, you should activate the security tools that come with your cloud provider’s platform.

Larger organizations usually have a security team’s luxury to handle auditing, governance, and cloud resource monitoring. And they often have to build customized applications to gather the data they need.

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