Perspectives

Are you ready for cloud service governance?

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

Governance is one fundamental element for success with cloud computing. Services are the foundation. Get them under control and manage them to maximize their potential, and yours.

June 21, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Governance could be the most overlooked aspect of cloud computing, perhaps because it’s so complex. There is cost governance to monitor and control cloud cost usage. There is resource governance to control the cloud resources, both single and multicloud. Finally, there is cloud service governance which includes the practices and technology that deal with cloud APIs or web services that come standard with the cloud provider’s services, or perhaps from services you build and expose on the cloud.

The need is pretty clear. Services are abstracted and leveraged by application workloads. These can be infrastructure services that are part of the cloud provider’s services, such as storage and compute. Or, they may be purpose-built services, such as the calculation of a tax rate. They could also be custom services that are specific to your business, such as a service that looks up inventory.

Services, including regular services and microservices, have a few core characteristics:

  • First, they are discrete sets of services or behaviors that solve a very specific problem. An application cannot be a service, but a smaller portion of that application can, such as validating an order number. It provides an inventory service, but it’s not a complete inventory control system.
  • Services are a way to reuse both data and behavior from application-to-application. When dealing with service governance, we should have a directory to register services that we may leverage from applications, as well as to find those services so others can leverage them as well.
  • This is a form of service-orientation architecture, or SOA, that promotes both reuse and agility, and is fundamental to the value that leveraging a cloud brings.

When dealing with service governance, there are a few things to understand:

  • First, it’s about planning and building an approach as much as it is about picking a technology. There are a lot of cloud services governance systems available. Understand your business requirements first, and then pick the right technology, ideally, before you encounter a problem.
  • Second, the solution should span clouds. If you deploy on multicloud architectures, your cloud services governance strategy should span all of the cloud brands in the enterprise mix. This means that you can discover services across clouds and leverage many of them from cloud-to-cloud. Keep in mind that all services won’t necessarily work on all clouds, and that compatibility or lack thereof should be noted in the directories as well.
  • Finally, pick the right technology or technologies for your needs. It’s OK to use different service governance systems for different purposes.

Governance is one fundamental element for success with cloud computing. Services are the foundation. Get them under control and manage them to maximize their potential, and yours.

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