Public & Hybrid Cloud Governance Strategies Deep-dive

Posted by Errin O'Connor on Jan, 22, 2015 01:01

Public and Hybrid Cloud Governance

Organization’s across the globe are wondering how the cloud will impact their business and whether a hybrid SharePoint / hybrid Office 365 / SharePoint Online or Microsoft Azure environment makes sense for their IT strategy and related technology roadmap.

EPC Group hasv been involved in several recent hybrid Office 365 \ SharePoint implementations using SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises, as well as Office 365, Microsoft Azure, or SharePoint 2013 deployed within Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Specific hybrid governance considerations must be taken into account, such as how disaster recovery and backup procedures may change, as well as security and federation configurations, to ensure a seamless user experience.

There are also business intelligence considerations with organizations wanting to provide on-premises data reporting in conjunction with data stored within the cloud.

These considerations include common questions such as the following:

  • How will moving to a hybrid cloud architecture impact my SharePoint planning and my ability to manage and integrate SharePoint across the enterprise, as shown in the image below?
  • How should my organization prepare for the possibility of rapid provisioning of new sites and related workloads in Office 365 while maintaining existing on-premises sites and workloads, and how can I implement a cohesive governance and management strategy?
  • Should I attempt to supplement our small or initial cloud environment with additional features or customizations that are currently possible only on-premises?

A large number of organizations have concerns with the hybrid cloud regarding the “unknowns” they feel may impact them in regard to compliance and specific requirements that may stipulate that certain types of data be hosted in a particular location (that is, on-premises rather than in the cloud).

These concerns also bring up questions such as the following:

  • How can I calculate or fully understand the growing requirements of identity management?
  • Can I implement a governance strategy to support growing service catalogs in a hybrid cloud architecture?

One major key to the success of a hybrid cloud architecture is ensuring that you have the ability to manage permissions across both SharePoint on-premises and Office 365’s SharePoint Online or Microsoft Azure content, with the added ability to make mass updates across both environments (updating/adding content types to a large number of document libraries and so forth).


EPC Group’s Hybrid Cloud Advisory practice is led by industry experts to assist your organization in reviewing the underlying granular capabilities of the Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud offerings available to you and then architecting and deploying a tailored solution for your organization that will stand the test of time.

EPC Group’s consultants can provide a complete analysis of both your business and technical goals as well as your underlying IT roadmap and guide you in areas such as:

  • User experience and devices from which SharePoint 2013 / Office 365 will be accessed
  • 360-degree logical design of all elements involved
  • Boundaries of SharePoint 2013 / Office 365 / SharePoint Online / Microsoft Azure / AWS
  • System architecture design, performance planning, scalability
  • Information architecture (IA) design
  • Server counts, database design, server roles, service applications
  • Storage requirements, estimates database sizing, shredded storage
  • Required cloud application management roles and related skillsets

EPC Group provides proven strategies and design services for cloud-based infrastructures covering Office 365SharePoint Online,Microsoft AzureAmazon Web Services (AWS)Visual Studio OnlineTeam Foundation ServiceDynamics CRM Online, Office Online,Yammer, and Microsoft Project Online.


EPC Group’s hybrid SharePoint 2013 environments architecture allows for flexibility and provide for the capability to store sensitive and highly confidential content on-premise within your own data center while storing collaboration or non-sensitive data within a public cloud such as Office 365SharePoint OnlineMicrosoft Azure orAWS.

The issues that have continued to compile in the news with the NSA’s IT administrator Edward Snowden’s leakage of classified data has undoubtedly hurt the reputation of the public cloud. The NSA’s PRISM data mining program has also piled on concerns around organization’s asking themselves, “How safe is the cloud?”

  • EPC Group’s hybrid cloud architecture will give your organization options around where specific types of data are stored while still providing you with secure identify management” options to access it in a seamless manner.
  • SharePoint 2013 / Office 365 hybrid deployments also provide organizations with robust options for business intelligence (BI) initiatives because the private side of the hybrid cloud will more than likely already exist on the company’s network in your Active Directory (AD) forest, which will allow BI initiatives to securely access other line-of-business systems within the organization.
  • Office 365’s Power BI capabilities also allow cloud-based data the analytical and robust reporting required which can be seamlessly federated via Windows Azure Active Directory, a REST-based service that provides identity management, to your on-premises data to allow you to architect and tailor the security model that will work best for your organization.
  • There are several factors that influence an organization’s decision regarding which architecture (that is, on-premises private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid cloud) they are going to design and implement for their short-term and long-term SharePoint roadmap needs such as:
  • The overall size of the organization and user base
  • Security-related issues
  • Legal and compliance issues
  • Any project or deployment time constraintsGovernance and any related and existing known issues
    • Management and tools
    • Development standards | Application lifecycle management (ALM)
    • Information architecture (IA) and federated search requirements
  • Complexity of your current environment
  • Physical locations (i.e. Office locations, data centers, etc.)
  • Current identity management infrastructure
  • Current IT infrastructure model and desired future IT roadmap
  • Network bandwidth issues
  • Current known software or hardware issues
  • Understanding the cloud vendor’s service level agreement (SLA) around high-availability as well as disaster recovery-related issues
  • Your organization’s internal resource issues and related training
    • Support alignment, service reporting, standards adoption and management
    • Development alignment, infrastructure alignment, development platform management


EPC Group has extensive experience in working with complex environments and understands the key considerations and elements that must be planned for as well as architected and implemented. These complex environmental considerations include those such as:

  • Multitenancy requirements within your organization
  • Office 365 issues when a user goes outside of IT to create a new “”environment”
  • Multiple farms and the seamless security and identity management elements required: (i.e. Azure AD, FBA, SAML claims, extranets)
  • EPC Group client’s with PHI, PII, Safe Harbor, intellectual property, EU pushback, or NSA concerns due to recent news


EPC Group offers industry leading Office 365 Power BI solutions and consulting services for Office 365 and SharePoint Online to meet the needs of cloud and hybrid cloud environments for our clients.

Microsoft Office 365’s Power BI contains a collection of features and services that enables organization to visualize data and share these discoveries in a very similar manner as SharePoint 2013’s on-premise business intelligence environmental capabilities.

EPC Group’s Hybrid Cloud Advisory Practice implements Power BI in both cloud-based and hybrid cloud scenarios for organizations who have both SharePoint 2013 on-premise as well as SharePoint Online in the cloud for the seamless reporting of data of different classification types (PII, PHI, HIPAA, EU and/or less confidential data) to limit risk and compliance concerns.

To learn more about EPC Group’s Office 365 Power BI Consulting Services and Solutions, visit EPC Group’s Office 365 Power BI offerings page.


EPC Group will ensure key considerations around the possible differences in your organizations current disaster-recovery or business-continuity plan versus a cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) plan. EPC Group will provide expert hybrid cloud DR planning around:

  • Environment and security governance of the cloud provide
  • SharePoint \ Office 365 \ SharePoint Online \ Azure \ AWS disaster recovery governance
  • Ensuring cloud-based disaster recovery has the ability to follow records retention deletion policies per the organization’s approved retention schedule
  • Availability to “intake” or copy cloud-based backups back “in-house for eDiscovery or litigation matters to follow any court orders or to assist your organization’s legal counsel
  • Defining SharePoint 2013 \ SharePoint Online \ Office 365 service level agreements (SLAs)

EPC Group’s Nationally Recognized Practice Areas

EPC Group leading Custom Application DevelopmentSharePointOffice 365, Infrastructure Design and Business Intelligence Practice areas continue to lead the way in providing our clients with the most up-to-date and relevant information that is tailored to their individual business and functional needs.

About the Author

Errin O'Connor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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