Cloud policy and governance
This article helps you understand the cloud policy and governance capability within the FinOps Framework and how to implement that in the Microsoft Cloud.
Cloud policy and governance refers to the process of defining, implementing, and monitoring a framework of rules that guide an organization's FinOps efforts.
Define your governance goals and success metrics. Review and document how existing policies are updated to account for FinOps efforts. Review with all stakeholders to get buy-in and endorsement.
Establish a rollout plan that starts with audit rules and slowly (and safely) expands coverage to drive compliance without negatively impacting engineering efforts.
Implementing a policy and governance strategy enables organizations to sustainably implement FinOps at scale. Policy and governance can act as a multiplier to FinOps efforts by building them natively into day-to-day operations.
When you first start managing cost in the cloud, you use the native compliance tracking and enforcement tools.
- Review your existing FinOps processes to identify opportunities for policy to automate enforcement. Some examples:
- Enforce your tagging strategy to support different capabilities, like:
- Monitor required and suggested alerting for anomalies and budgets.
- Block or audit the creation of more expensive resource SKUs (for example, E-series virtual machines).
- Implementation of cost recommendations and unused resources for utilization and efficiency.
- Application of Azure Hybrid Benefit for utilization and efficiency.
- Monitor commitment-based discounts coverage.
- Identify what policies can be automated through Azure Policy and which need other tooling.
- Review and implement built-in policies that align with your needs and goals.
- Start small with audit policies and expand slowly (and safely) to ensure engineering efforts aren't negatively impacted.
- Test rules before you roll them out and consider a staged rollout where each stage has enough time to get used and garner feedback. Start small.
Building on the basics
At this point, you have a basic set of policies in place that are being managed across the organization. As you move beyond the basics, consider the following points:
- Formalize compliance reporting and promote within leadership conversations across stakeholders.
- Map governance efforts to FinOps efficiencies that can be mapped back to more business value with less effort.
- Expand coverage of more scenarios.
- Consider evaluating ways to quantify the impact of each rule in cost and/or business value.
- Integrate policy and governance into every conversation to establish a plan for how you want to automate the tracking and application of new policies.
- Consider advanced governance scenarios outside of Azure Policy. Build monitoring solutions using systems like Power Automate or Logic Apps.
Learn more at the FinOps Foundation
This capability is a part of the FinOps Framework by the FinOps Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing cloud cost management and optimization. For more information about FinOps, including useful playbooks, training and certification programs, and more, see the Cloud policy and governance capability article in the FinOps Framework documentation.