When they are implemented correctly, cloud computing solutions can be a great way for companies to become more efficient, gain productivity and perhaps reduce costs, but not every implementation is easy. David Linthicum said on InfoWorld that organizations that have not yet adopted the cloud should make the move easier on themselves preparing their cloud governance strategies in advance. As more businesses adopt the cloud, he said there is a need for a centralized approach to controlling IT resources.

"The complexity brought by cloud computing requires that these sets of resources need to be abstracted in order to be used productively," he said. "This means placing governance or management systems between the people and systems consuming the resources or services and the hundreds - perhaps thousands - of services that will appear as enterprises move to cloud computing."

Another challenge many companies face is that they may use many different cloud services. Instead of figuring out how all of these will be controlled after adoption, businesses can have a governance system in place early and make sure stakeholders fully grasp the changes that must be made. A strategy should be created, Linthicum said, that will help plan and manage the environment no matter how many different solutions are used and that accounts for business expansion.

The big problem with the cloud computing industry is that many companies do not think this way. Linthicum believes the complexity will likely push companies into creating improved governance practices and. However, developing these policies after implementation rather than before may reduce productivity and the technology's overall value.

"The better approach is to create a plan right now to deal with the complexity before it emerges and changes," he wrote on InfoWorld. "Invest in people, processes, and technology, making sure that, as you onboard cloud computing resources, they actually improve your organization."

Where to start with a plan
Blake Richardson, manager of records at Safeway, said businesses should start their cloud computing governance plans by first asking why they want to move to the cloud and then plan around the key motivations. This should help make IT, legal, compliance and working with business units easier since there will be a clear way of attack. After this, he said there should be a vendor checklist that will allow the companies to figure out which cloud based services providers best meet all of their needs.