Why Do You Need Governance in the Cloud? Project and Service Governance
Ryan Boyles 100000UX41 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  cloud amywohl service project soa governance
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Companies (and individuals) often choose to mitigate risks by buying insurance. This doesn’t keep bad things from happening, but it reduces risk and helps you return to a steady state. In the cloud, governance is a kind of insurance; it provides a structure for managing multiple projects, avoiding redundant work, and allowing your organization to exploit investments in services by managing your service portfolio.
But planning and implementing governance is often incremental. In fact, most cloud usage starts with no governance at all (except that SOA governance may already be in place). Early cloud usage is often associated with projects at the departmental level; it’s hard to justify or “sell” governance, which represents an additional expense, before the deployment of additional projects makes it clearer what benefits governance offers. (Of course, if you can convince cloud users to start with governance, or provide governance as an IT-funded service, so much the better.)
Governance can help manage consumer/provider relationships. It can manage contracts for SLAs and charge-backs and manage the provisioning of services such as check approval and credit card processing. But to consume these fine-grained services, governance is required; otherwise, each time the service is used it will probably be written again.
If SOA governance is already in place (and in many large enterprises it will be) governance for cloud services may be implemented on top of it; otherwise, you will want to implement SOA governance first. SOA governance defines essential governance and management processes for consumer/provider environments including portfolio management, project management, service management, and policy management. Cloud governance requires extensions of SOA service provisioning to support business models that are more contract-driven.
As services (such as HIPPA compliance) begin to become available from industry services providers, governance will enable consuming and integrating these services. But buyers need to be aware of what they’re buying; standards are still in their infancy and providers may be using de facto standards rather than broader ones, opening buyers to the possibility of vendor lock-in.
The cloud will drive a significant acceleration in change, making it more important than ever to be able to consume and re-consume services, rather than writing and rewriting custom code. Governance allows this to happen. Already it is apparent that well-governed organizations (on every level from IT governance to SOA governance to cloud governance) perform better because they are dynamically better at adapting to change. For more information about the relationship between SOA and Cloud Governance download this PDF.
In the next blog post, we’ll talk about the role of accelerated workload integration and performance.