Service-Oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure (SOCCI) Framework – Governance Model
It is important to know that governance is a gating factor that needs to be in place before an organization can move to any type of IT deployment and this is no exception for a cloud computing implementation.
Like SOA, cloud governance includes stakeholder and decision rights enablement; for example, determining authority figures for procuring cloud solutions and the required level of stakeholder involvement. Governance is the key for establishing the cloud technology platforms and processes as well as overall strategic goals and policies. Setting up the charge-back strategy to govern the billing and metering of a cloud development is a good example of an important process to govern.
One of the key value propositions of cloud computing is that the provider now assumes responsibility for the computing infrastructure. For the early adopters, not having to worry about infrastructure has been a boon. Nevertheless, it comes with certain risks:
- Exposing the organizational assets and information to the external world
- Unpredictable operational expenses incurred to meet SLAs
- Introduction of dynamic infrastructure and virtual resources management
Providers need to balance getting on with the job of keeping the infrastructure running, while at the same time giving organization IT enough visibility, choice, and delegated control over its own assets to fulfil its obligations to stakeholders. The buck still stops with organization IT, irrespective of whether the infrastructure is cloud-sourced or in-house.
There are some unique challenges businesses face within infrastructure cloud computing, to which we should apply the following, but not limited to, governance considerations:
- Decouple technology with product mapping – Technology implements process, enforces rules, and monitors cloud environments. Cloud supports dynamic infrastructure which allows a consumer to quickly develop and deploy its solution without having to worry about the physical underlying components including hardware, servers, and the facilities. Governing function usually maps to the virtual concepts that relate to the consumer in the cloud.
- Robust track record and customizable, rigorous SLA – SLAs need to reflect the needs of the organization, not just the raw “speeds and feeds” of traditional managed hosting environments. Just as important, though, is transparent measurement and reporting of the provider’s track record, which establishes a benchmark for reliability, consistency, and quality of performance.
- Instrumentation, feeds, and real-time reporting – A status dashboard is a bare minimum. Providers must have the instrumentation in place to report metrics and exceptions in real time to their customers, preferably as feeds that can plug into the customer’s existing management systems.