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What is Cloud Governance and Why We Need It

By Elizabeth Simonian
July 31, 2023

What is Cloud Governance?

Cloud governance includes the policies, procedures, and controls to manage cloud resources. They ensure that organizations use resources in line with their goals and objectives.

Why Do You Need Cloud Governance

Cloud governance has many benefits, including:

  1. Cost Optimization: Cloud computing’s scalability makes increasing or decreasing resources easy. The ease of scalability can result in wasteful expenditures if you do not actively remove unused resources. Cloud governance monitors usage and identifies savings opportunities, helping organizations optimize their budget.
  2. Security and compliance: Cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access all threaten cloud resources. Governance can enforce best practices that decrease these risks. These best practices also help companies meet regulatory requirements.
  3. Risk Management: Clear governance policies and procedures reduce a variety of threats. Good governance reduces the chances of data loss, downtime, and poor performance.
  4. Accountability and transparency: Cloud governance promotes accountability and transparency. It can define roles and responsibilities, as well as ensuring all stakeholders understand their obligations. These clear responsibilities encourage trust and collaboration between IT departments and business units, as well as allowing for effective decision-making.

Implementing Effective Cloud Management

Companies should take a holistic approach to governance and consider their unique needs. Here are some tips for implementing cloud governance strategies that work:

Create Clear Policies and Procedures

Effective governance requires your organization to create clear policies and procedures that define how cloud resources should be used and managed. Organizations can ensure uniformity and consistency in cloud resource usage across teams and departments by defining guidelines. 

Organizations should develop these policies in collaboration with stakeholders from IT, security compliance, and business units. When formulating policies, it is important for those stakeholders to consider factors like data sensitivity and regulatory requirements. With the setting of clear expectations and guidelines, there will be a reduction in misuses and misunderstandings. 

Companies should regularly review and update these policies to stay abreast of the latest technology, security threats, and compliance standards. This feedback and periodic stakeholder assessment process will help identify improvement areas and ensure that these policies remain effective and relevant.

Assign Roles & Responsibilities

Clear roles and responsibilities ensure that teams and individuals understand their obligations concerning cloud resource governance and management. Clarity promotes accountability and streamlines the decision-making process. It also minimizes conflict or gaps between responsibilities.

Organizations should consider all aspects of cloud governance when defining roles. These include resource provisioning and management, security, cost management, compliance, and monitoring. The organization may designate a cloud admin responsible for managing and provisioning cloud resources. A security officer will be in charge of implementing and maintaining security controls. 

These roles need to communicate and collaborate regularly. Meetings, clear escalation pathways, and reporting structures help to create a cohesive framework. Assigning roles and responsibilities allows organizations to leverage the expertise and strengths of different teams or individuals, creating a culture that fosters shared ownership of cloud resources. 

Cloud governance technologies can support automated monitoring and reporting through the use of role-based access controls. This allows for the efficient execution of duties and facilitates effective governance.

Monitor Costs and Usage

Governance requires monitoring of the costs and usage of cloud resources. Monitoring allows organizations to maximize resource usage, identify cost savings opportunities, and ensure compliance with established policies and budgets. 

Cloud service providers provide various monitoring and reporting tools to help you gain insight into your resource usage, performance metrics, and cost breakdowns. These tools allow organizations to track resource usage trends, identify idle or underutilized resources, and make informed resource allocation decisions. 

Monitoring practices can also help organizations identify security risks such as suspicious or unusual activities. Organizations can quickly detect security incidents and reduce their impact by constantly monitoring and analyzing logs.

Monitoring usage and costs also helps enforce budget, resource quotas, and access control policies. By regularly reviewing usage data, organizations can identify anomalies and violations and take the appropriate action, such as optimizing configurations or enforcing a budget constraint.

Implement Security Measures

Cloud governance must include robust security measures. Cloud resources are easily accessible from multiple locations, which exposes them to various security threats. Implementing proper security controls to protect these resources and the data they contain is essential. 

Organizations must establish policies and guidelines defining their required security measures. These may include data encryption, access control, vulnerability management, and incident management procedures. For example, multi-factor authentication can help protect against unauthorized cloud access. Safeguarding sensitive data during transit and at rest requires strong encryption mechanisms. Regular vulnerability assessments and penetration tests help identify and fix potential weaknesses.

Monitoring and logging security incidents help respond to incidents quickly and detect them faster in the future. Utilizing security information and event management (SIEM) systems, as well as intrusion detection systems, will help monitor suspicious activity and provide real-time alerts for potential security breaches.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Organizations operating in industries with strict data protection, privacy, or finance regulations need good cloud governance. These organizations must comply with various rules that may differ depending on their industry and jurisdiction. 

Compliance may require establishing data classification, access control, auditing, and data retention policies. Regular audits and assessments are needed to validate compliance and identify gaps and improvement areas. Compliance teams must work closely with IT to understand regulatory requirements and implement the necessary controls and measures.

Foster Collaboration

Successful governance requires collaboration between IT teams, businesses, and other stakeholders. Regular meetings with representatives of these groups facilitate the understanding of requirements and collective decision-making. Collaboration helps identify cloud adoption opportunities, define requirements, and address any challenges or concerns during governance implementation. 

Fostering collaboration helps identify and resolve issues quickly, encourages a culture that promotes shared responsibility, and improves awareness and understanding of cloud governance.


Cloud governance lets companies maximize benefits and reduce the risks of cloud computing. When done correctly, governance can unlock the full power of cloud computing for organizations and help them achieve business success.