Build a cloud governance team

This article shows you how to build a cloud governance team. A cloud governance team oversees cloud governance for the organization. This team is responsible for assessing risks, documenting cloud governance policies, and reporting on the progress of cloud governance. They need to understand the needs of teams across the business and ensure cloud governance policies minimize risks. The goal is to have people accountable for the success of cloud governance. To build a cloud governance team, complete these tasks.

Diagram showing the process to set up and maintain cloud governance. The diagram shows five sequential steps: build a cloud governance team, document cloud governance policies, enforce cloud governance policies, and monitor cloud governance. The first step you perform once. The last four steps you perform once to set up cloud governance and continuously to maintain cloud governance.

Define the functions of the cloud governance team

Define the duties and roles of the cloud governance team. Outline the required functions and what they need to do to implement cloud governance effectively. At a minimum, the cloud governance team should fulfill the following functions:

  • Engage stakeholders. The cloud governance team must actively engage stakeholders across the organization (IT, finance, operations, security, and compliance) to gather input on defining cloud governance policies. The goal is to ensure cloud governance policies minimize risk without preventing teams from achieving business goals.

  • Assess cloud risks. The cloud governance team must oversee the identification, analysis, and prioritization of cloud risks. They oversee risk assessments and communicate findings to stakeholders. They provide access to tools to evaluate security, compliance, and operational cloud risks.

  • Develop and update governance policies. The cloud governance team should document cloud governance policies for the organization. They should resolve any challenges that cloud governance creates for teams and should regularly review and update cloud governance policies as needed. The goal is to ensure the cloud governance policies are comprehensive, enforceable, and align with current technology and requirements.

  • Monitor and review governance. Establish metrics to measure the effectiveness of cloud governance. Develop reporting methods to track compliance rates, incident response times, and user satisfaction.

Select the members of the cloud governance team

Select the individuals responsible for overseeing and managing cloud governance within the organization. Recruit members with the skills to efficiently enforce policies, manage risks, and comply with regulations. To select members of the cloud governance team, follow these recommendations:

  • Select a small team. Pick a small team to encourage agility and quicker decision-making.

  • Select a diverse team. The team should consist of individuals from different areas of the organization. Consider including IT operations, security, finance, software development, cloud architecture, and compliance.

  • Define team members' responsibilities. Define the roles and responsibilities within your cloud governance team. Tailor them to your organization's size, complexity, and cloud maturity. Key areas of responsibility include the cloud governance success, cloud architecture, cloud security, cloud compliance, and cloud finance.

Define the authority of the cloud governance team

Empower the cloud governance team to implement and oversee cloud governance. The goal is to ensure the cloud governance team has the legitimacy and support required to achieve the organization's cloud governance objectives. To define the authority of the cloud governance team, follow these recommendations:

  • Secure executive sponsorship. Gain support from and report to a named executive, such as the CIO or CTO, to support the cloud governance initiative. The executive sponsor serves as a point of escalation for challenges and helps align cloud governance with business goals.

  • Establish authority levels. The executive sponsor should grant the team the authority to define cloud governance policies and take corrective measures for noncompliance.

  • Communicate authority. The executive sponsor should communicate the authority of the cloud governance team to the entire organization. Include the importance of adhering to the cloud governance policies they create.

Define the scope of the cloud governance team

Establish the boundaries of the cloud governance team's responsibilities. The goal is to clarify areas of responsibility so the cloud governance team can focus on their defined functions. To define the scope, follow these recommendations:

  • Define relationship with other teams. Clearly define the cloud governance team's authority over cloud resources, services, and policies. Avoid conflict and overlapping responsibility with other teams. For hybrid environments, specify the cloud governance team's responsibilities in contrast to on-premises teams.

  • Use a RACI matrix. Use a responsibility assignment matrix, often called a RACI matrix, to delineate roles and responsibilities within the cloud governance framework.

Example cloud governance RACI matrix

The following table is an example of a RACI matrix for cloud governance. The matrix indicates who is responsible (R), accountable (A), consulted (C), and informed (I) across various cloud governance tasks. Create a RACI matrix that aligns to your organization and meets your specific needs.

Task Cloud governance team Executive sponsor Cloud platform team Workload teams
Engage stakeholders R, A I C C
Assess cloud risks A I R R
Develop and update governance policies R, A I C C
Report on cloud governance progress R, A I C C
Plan a cloud architecture A I R R
Enforce governance policies A, C I R R
Monitor governance A, C I R R

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