What is cloud data governance and why is it important

Find out why cloud data governance is essential and how you can implement it successfully in your business. Learn more about cloud data governance here.
Last updated
September 14, 2023

Cloud data governance is a concept that organizations need to be familiar with if they have data in the cloud or plan to migrate their data to the cloud. Cloud governance is a set of processes that ensure data stored in cloud environments is secure, accurate, and compliant with all relevant data regulations and policies. It also helps organizations identify and classify sensitive data, define usage, and manage access to data.

The growing adoption of cloud-based environments for enterprise-level businesses means that cloud data governance is more important than ever. If you want to ensure your cloud data is stored, processed, and accessed in a secure and compliant manner, it’s time to consider your cloud data governance strategy. In this blog, we’ll go over why cloud data governance is essential and how you can implement it successfully in your business.

Why Is It Important?

Cloud data governance is important for numerous reasons. Organizations that deal with sensitive information and data assets need to ensure that they are managing and governing data across their cloud platforms and applications. Proper cloud data governance makes this simpler.

Without proper governance in place, organizations open themselves up to data breaches and other security issues. This can lead to non-compliance fines and penalties, loss of trust from customers, and reputational damage. Since cloud data governance helps organizations be compliant with various regulations and industry standards, it reduces the risk of these security and privacy issues.

Cloud data governance also helps ensure data is more accurate and reliable by reducing duplications, inconsistencies, and other errors. This allows organizations to get more value from data and make better data-driven decisions.

What Are the Benefits?

Implementing a cloud data governance strategy in your organization is necessary if you store data on the cloud. The benefits it offers are well worth the effort, and it will ultimately improve your organization. Here are some of the top benefits of cloud data governance:

Data Security and Privacy

Data security and privacy should always be a top priority for businesses that use cloud computing. Data breaches can be devastating for companies, causing loss of revenue, regulatory fines, and damage to your reputation. With cloud data governance, your organization will have stronger data security and privacy overall.

Cloud data governance helps to outline the policies and procedures surrounding data usage and access in the cloud. Using a governance framework, your organization can more easily manage access to data and enforce data usage policies. This prevents data from being accessed by unauthorized users or parties. Data access controls are especially essential for organizations that collect sensitive personal information such as financial data or medical records.

In short, data security and privacy can be improved with cloud data governance. Mitigating risk with a governance framework allows your data to be used by the right people, and you can reduce the likelihood of data breaches and other cyber threats.

Enhanced Collaboration and Data Sharing

Cloud data governance also helps to enable collaboration and data sharing across different teams in an organization. Data governance policies can help to centralize and organize a company’s data, which makes it simpler for teams to share and access data without compromising data quality.

One of the primary reasons many organizations move data to the cloud is to improve access. With more companies operating with international teams or remote teams across multiple locations, accessing data from the cloud is much simpler than using an on-premises storage solution. With the cloud, these teams can collaborate in real time, regardless of location. Data governance policies will ensure that this data is being used properly by these teams and accessed by the right users.

Data governance can also identify the data stewards across departments, so these departments can ensure their data is consistent, accurate, and aligned with the rest of the organization’s data policies.

Overall, cloud data governance is essential for any organization that values collaboration and data sharing. It enables teams to work together seamlessly while ensuring the security, privacy, and accuracy of their data.

Data Quality and Integrity

Data quality and integrity are also primary goals of cloud data governance. Cloud data governance helps ensure that data is accurate and consistent across all applications and systems, whether they’re cloud-based or on-premises. 

Organizations can improve data quality and integrity with cloud data governance by implementing processes and standards for avoiding data errors, along with processes for addressing errors when they occur.

Cloud data governance also involves setting out processes for data lineage, so data can be tracked throughout its entire lifecycle. With data lineage, users can easily track data to its source and conduct root cause analysis to identify where issues might be coming from.

Cloud governance is also used to help define data standards and structures so everyone in the organization is on the same page and using the same format and language for data analysis. This reduces the risk of misinterpretation and misuse of data, allowing organizations to maximize the value of the data they collect.

In short, data quality and integrity are essential if organizations want to have reliable information to make data-driven decisions. Cloud data governance can help improve this quality and consistency, which in turn improves business outcomes.

Scalability and Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of moving data to the cloud is the flexibility and scalability that cloud storage allows. Having data on the cloud allows organizations to scale up their data storage in a simpler, less resource-intensive way. The cloud can handle data storage and management for everything from the smallest business to the largest enterprise businesses in the world.

On the same token, data governance policies are simpler to scale when your data is on the cloud. As an organization's operations grow, you can scale your governance framework without compromising security or privacy.

Overall, the scalability and flexibility of cloud environments are huge benefits, and the ability to scale cloud data governance alongside your increased storage needs is easier than ever, thanks to evolving governance tools and technology, along with the built-in governance measures cloud providers include for customers.

Regulatory compliance

Many businesses are subject to regulations governing how they handle sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines and a ruined reputation.

Cloud data management comes with its own set of challenges to remain compliant, as organizations must ensure their data practices are in line with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act. There are also industry-specific regulations to consider, such as HIPAA, for companies in the health industry.

Cloud data governance offers a comprehensive and thorough framework to implement policies and procedures that comply with these regulations. Many tools and platforms can also help automate compliance-related tasks, and cloud providers may even have their own processes in place to help their customers remain compliant.

Overall, by implementing effective governance policies, organizations can mitigate risk, maintain customer trust, and avoid costly penalties associated with regulatory violations.

Implementing Data Governance in Cloud Environments

Now that we know the importance of cloud data governance and the benefits it offers. But how can you implement these processes in your organization's cloud environments? It may seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and the right strategy, you can ensure data governance is implemented seamlessly and with minimal disruption. Here are some steps for successfully implementing data governance in your organization:

  1. Research your cloud provider - If you haven’t migrated your data into the cloud yet, now is a good time to research cloud providers and see if they have any built-in governance and compliance measures. If you’ve already committed to a provider, see what measures they have already implemented. This will help inform your own data governance policy as you work within your cloud provider’s existing framework. 
  2. Choose a cloud provider - If you aren’t already on the cloud, you can get a good start with data governance by choosing a provider that has transparent security and privacy measures and that outlines their policies for data management. 
  3. Define your own data governance strategy - Once you have your data on the cloud, build your own data governance strategy. This involves creating comprehensive and clear guidelines for data usage, sharing, access, and management. Make sure your strategy takes industry standards and compliance regulations into account. 
  4. Communicate your strategy to stakeholders - Make sure all of your users understand your data governance policies and that it is communicated to everyone.
  5. Implement access controls - Make sure to define access controls for all of your users based on their roles. This will help to ensure data is also accessed by authorized users while also mitigating your risk of data breaches and other security issues.
  6. Monitor data usage - Once you’ve established your data governance policies and implemented them, make sure to monitor data usage on an ongoing basis. Establish an auditing process to track who is accessing data, how it’s being used, and any potential errors in the process. Auditing and reassessing your data governance on a regular basis is essential.
  7. Stay up to date on compliance regulations and industry standards - Make sure you’re updating your policies to reflect current compliance regulations and industry standards.

Following these steps will help you implement your data governance successfully and ensure your policies are always current and relevant.

Try Secoda for Free

Whether your data is stored on the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid of both, it helps to have tools to help you manage your data and automate governance processes. That’s where Secoda comes in. Secoda is an all-in-one data management platform with tools for data lineage, data access management, data cataloging, data dictionary, data discovery, and more. 

With Secoda, you can centralize your data and make it easily searchable. You can also automate lineage tasks and other important tasks for governance, allowing you to improve data quality and remain compliant. These are just a few of the features you’ll have access to when using the Secoda platform. Schedule your demo to learn more about Secoda, or try it out for free today.

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