Governance is an important aspect of any IT operation. More so on cloud, where the risks of cost overruns and security challenges from assets deployed with poor access controls are high. Cloud governance, or a set of rules for operations in the cloud, is a must for enterprises to enhance security and compliance, manage risks, and optimize assets and skills. Only when these things are in order can enterprises get full value from their cloud investments—from reduced costs and agility to accelerated innovation.
What’s clear is that cloud governance pays. Our work with clients has shown us that a streamlined governance model can help realize a 30–40% higher level of automation and speed up innovation. Some have achieved cost benefits of up to 80% from optimized use of services and resources across different environments, and license consolidation. Others have achieved up to 60–70% reduction in product cycle time. While the benefits of cloud governance are clear, the million dollar question is how to do it right.
So, what are some of the things that businesses need to focus on when shaping or simplifying their hybrid cloud governance model? Taking stock of what’s working well and what’s not—on premise and on cloud—is a good starting point. Creating an effective target operating model, with roles and responsibilities of each specific team clearly defined, is important. One thing to keep in mind is that the target governance model should be flexible enough to enable enterprises to adopt new things and transition from on-prem to cloud, quickly and seamlessly. Ensuring that you have the right talent for a successful cloud transformation and prioritizing reskilling are other areas to focus on.
These basics covered, here are some aspects you need to consider while creating a hybrid cloud governance model for your business:
Productivity: Set KPIs for the short, mid, and long term with clear roles and responsibilities and actionable guidelines for each team like center of excellence, security, DevOps and others. It is important to constantly monitor the progress on those KPIs and assess how they roll up to the organization-level KPIs. Wherever applicable, automate processes and create standardized technology patterns. This is sure to boost productivity and self-service efficiencies.
Cost optimization: Continuous cost optimization is the name of the game on cloud.
Putting in place the right cost optimization guidelines, tools and monitoring process will help you manage resources more effectively. Sometimes, they become the trigger for modernization activities to adopt cloud-native technologies.
Agility: Governance shouldn’t come in the way of agility. Remove process bottlenecks by simplifying processes and embedding checks and balances wherever possible. TCS has helped several customers simplify processes through standardization and templatization.
Security and compliance: This is one of the most important elements of cloud governance. Following standardized cloud-specific security policies for your DevSecOps pipeline helps enhance application security, especially when it comes to multi-cloud. However, this may require application rearchitecting in some cases.
Business user experience: Implementing a governance model comes with the risk of internal user dissatisfaction, due to the increased touchpoints and complexity in the process. But cloud governance is as much about people as it is about processes and the right set of frameworks and tools. So, it is best to work on getting employees’ buy-in through change management and upskilling activities across the organization.
That’s what we did at one large financial organization, when we helped them come up with the right hybrid cloud governance model. The challenge was to streamline the processes, which had too many touchpoints and a complicated approval mechanism leading to extremely lengthy process execution cycles and dissatisfaction among users. We helped them identify a simplified process with proper checks and balances, along with automation opportunities. We also helped them with right sizing and FinOps streamlining. The result? The client was able to implement a hybrid cloud governance strategy that improved their productivity by 40%, cost optimization by 50%, agility by 35%, compliance cycle time by 65%, and internal customer satisfaction by 30%. Companies that move to a hybrid cloud governance model can leverage these incentives.