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The Growing Need for Cloud Governance: Jeff Kaplan Explains

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Listen to my podcast with Jeff Kaplan, the Founder and managing director of ThinkStrategies. Jeff is a regular podcast contributor with ebizQ and in this podcast we discuss a subject that is important to the long-term success of the cloud: Cloud Governance.

Listen to or download the 5:09 minute podcast below:

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PS: So what would you say is the state of cloud governance today?

JK: Well, it's embryonic. Like the rest of the cloud, it is really just at its inception. And as people become more and more aware of the various ways in which they can employ the cloud, they're becoming equally aware of all the things they need to consider when it comes to governing that cloud or relationship and that cloud resource.

PS: So where would you say we're seeing the greatest progress in cloud governance so far?

JK: Well, the idea of governance really has a couple of different components to it. First of all, we need to have the right kinds of measurement and monitoring tools that give both the customer as well as the vendor a similar visibility into the day-to-day operation of the cloud service. So the tools are rapidly evolving. But then we also have to look at how the cloud vendor and customer engage with one another in terms of the policies, procedures, and even the legal implications of that in terms of service level agreements.

There again, we're just beginning to understand the nature of those dynamics, the expectations of the customers and the willingness of the vendor to meet those expectations given the price competition that's so much a part of this cloud environment at this stage of the game.

PS: Definitely. Now where are we seeing some of the biggest problems?

JK: Well, it is around first of all education. Customers need to be educated about the level of governance that they can expect depending upon the type of service that they want to engage. So for instance, public cloud services which tend to be much more commodity oriented are going to offer less control than private cloud arrangements or virtual private cloud arrangements where it is about control so as to meet the compliance requirements of the company that the governance questions become much more acute.

So the real problem at this point is that customers need to sort out those various options and fully understand what kind of governance capabilities they should expect and those kinds of scenarios.

PS: All right. So in saying that, some companies still need to be convinced about being able to depend on cloud computing services. How are people supposed to do that?

JK: Well, like we've talked about in the past on these previous podcasts, it's all about starting small and then growing incrementally, that is testing the capability of the cloud vendor in a pilot or isolated environment to get a feel for what kinds of services they have to offer, to get a feel for the kind of governance capabilities they can provide. And then in incremental ways of building on that relationship and that interaction by putting the right kinds of systems in place, the right kinds of service level agreements in place to build a long-term relationship that the customer can feel comfortable with and of course, the vendor can satisfy.

PS: So start small and go from there; that makes a lot of sense. Now, what do you see for the future of cloud governance?

JK: Well, I think the marketplace is clearly recognizing that this is one of the pivot points for the long-term success of the cloud. The first question was is the cloud reliable and then of course we were asked the questions about the security and privacy of the cloud. We've also asked plenty of questions about integrating the cloud into our ongoing operations.

Now, it's all about what can I do to govern the cloud so I can ensure that I have proper control over this resource while at the same time meeting my compliance obligations both within my industry and within any kind of government regulation. Once I have that control, the next opportunity is how can I in fact customize the cloud to create new kinds of solutions and opportunities forming so that I can both innovate and gain a competitive advantage in this marketplace.

ebizQ’s expert blog team covers a broad range of BPM, business integration, business analytics/monitoring, collaboration, content and related issues.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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