Before you make a move to the cloud, you need to have an Azure operating model in place. You are moving from physical, hardware models to the cloud, which shifts the focus to the digital. Now, it is about how you will be operating in the cloud environment.
You need to consider different factors like data security, identity management, alignment with business objectives, and compliance.
What are Different Cloud Operating Models?
The four common types of cloud operating models are:
- Centralized Operations
- Decentralized Operations
- Enterprise Operations
- Distributed Operations
The type of operating model implemented is driven by business objectives. What is the priority that you want to achieve with your move to the cloud? Do you have to encourage innovation or have centralized control over the system?
Accountability also varies in these models. For example, in terms of security, a security team will be responsible for handling threats in centralized operations. In distributed operations, different groups will be involved in the security process.
What Does an Ideal Azure Operating Model Contain?
In order to develop an operating model that is best suited for your organization, you will have to provide the necessary support to the system. Third-party solutions integrated with Azure infrastructure and tools could help you get seamless functionality between on-premise and cloud resources.
Irrespective of the type of operating model you choose to follow, you will have to support the model with:
Shifting from on-premise to cloud is a complex activity. There are challenges involved in migrating Azure workloads. You need to pay attention to identity management and data security. Azure provides security tools like encryption in transit and encryption at rest for this purpose.
You can use third-party solutions to monitor the flow of data from on-premise to the cloud 24/7. The aim is to ensure workloads are migrated seamlessly without any issues. Technology is leveraged to avoid any business continuity issues.
You need to know what is happening in the environment at all times. Automation would be the way to go to monitor the system for any deviations. But, before you can begin with automation, you first need to study the Azure environment.
With third-party security solutions, you can take stock of the Azure system and the resources being used. Understand how entities within the system are interacting and their relationships. You could establish baselines and create automated security runs to ensure the Azure operating model performs consistently over time.
According to Microsoft, security is a responsibility shared by Azure and the user. For this reason, you need to have an overall security strategy in place, irrespective of you following a central or decentral model.
You could leverage Azure Security Center for threat prevention and detection. You could manage threats centrally from the security console. You could further strengthen security by implementing third-party solutions that integrate well with Azure. Actively review and upgrade security strategies as cyber threats continue to become sophisticated.
You can manage users and resources in the cloud with the help of identities. You need to understand how resources are configured in the system, what permission they have, what data and applications they can access, and how they interact with other entities.
With this knowledge, you gain complete visibility over the system and can better manage resources. With identity management, you can avoid issues arising due to unauthorized access. Azure security tools integrated with third-party solutions could help you gain visibility over the system.
An Azure operating model is like a set of procedures that you have to follow to use technology in the cloud environment. There are different models you can implement depending on your requirement. The core principles like security, governance and management remain constant across models: leverage Azure tools and third-party solutions to de-risk your cloud.