Governance in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Putting a business in the cloud creates new paradigms for the technologies that support that business. These new paradigms change how those technologies are adopted, managed, and governed. When you can delete and rebuild an entire virtual datacenter with a line of code that's executed by an unattended process, it's time to rethink traditional approaches. This reasoning is especially true for governance.

Cloud governance is an iterative process. For organizations with existing policies that govern on-premises IT environments, cloud governance should complement those policies. The level of corporate policy integration between on-premises and the cloud varies depending on cloud governance maturity and the nature of the digital estate in the cloud. As the cloud estate changes over time, so do cloud governance processes and policies. Use the following exercises to help you start building your initial governance foundation:

  1. Establish your methodology: Establish a basic understanding of the methodology that drives cloud governance in the Cloud Adoption Framework to begin thinking through the end state solution.

  2. Use the governance benchmark tool: Assess your current state and future state to establish a vision for applying the framework.

  3. Establish an initial governance foundation: Begin your governance journey with a small, easily implemented set of governance tools. This initial governance foundation is called a minimum viable product (MVP).

  4. Improve your initial governance foundation: Throughout implementation of the cloud adoption plan, iteratively add governance controls to address tangible risks as you progress toward the end state.

Goal of this content

The governance guide content serves two purposes:

  • Provides examples of actionable governance guides that represent common experiences that customers often find. Each example encapsulates business risks, corporate policies for risk mitigation, and design guidance for implementing technical solutions. Although the design guidance is specific to Azure, you can apply other content in the Cloud Adoption Framework documentation in a cloud-agnostic or multicloud approach.

  • Helps you create personalized governance solutions that meet various business needs. These needs include the governance of multiple public clouds through detailed guidance on the development of corporate policies, processes, and tooling.

This content is intended for use by the cloud governance team. It's also relevant to cloud architects who need to develop a strong foundation in cloud governance.

Intended audience

The content in the Cloud Adoption Framework documentation affects the business, technology, and culture of enterprises. Content in the governance guides interacts heavily with IT security, IT governance, finance, line-of-business leaders, networking, identity, and cloud adoption teams. Various dependencies on these personnel require a facilitative approach by the cloud architects that use this guidance. Facilitation with these teams might be a one-time effort or ongoing.

The cloud architect serves as the thought leader and facilitator to bring these audiences together. The content in this collection of guides is designed to help the cloud architect advance the right conversation, with the right audience, to drive necessary decisions. Business transformation that's empowered by the cloud depends on the cloud architect to help guide decisions throughout the business and IT.

Each section of the Cloud Adoption Framework represents a different specialization of the cloud architect role. This governance section is designed for cloud architects who want to mitigate or reduce technical risks. Some cloud providers refer to these specialists as cloud custodians, but we prefer cloud guardians or, collectively, the cloud governance team. The actionable governance guides show how the composition and role of the cloud governance team might change over time.

Use this guide

Read the Govern methodology content from start to finish to help you develop a robust cloud governance strategy in parallel with cloud implementation. The guidance walks you through the theory and implementation of this strategy.

For an overview on the theory and quick access to Azure implementation, see the cloud governance guides overview. By using this guidance, you can start small and iteratively improve your governance needs in parallel with cloud adoption efforts.