Account Management

Organise your cloud accounts to easily manage access controls, isolate environments, and simplify cloud navigation and discovery.


One of the first decisions to be made when adopting the cloud is how to leverage cloud accounts to help secure your environments. Your cloud estate typically comprises a range of cloud vendors, commercial models, and resource hierarchies. These can be arranged to maximise security by:

  1. Simplifying access controls to cloud environments, reducing the likelihood of security incidents arising from overly-complex management systems
  2. Isolating environments, applications, and managed service partners from one another.
  3. Separating live, backup, and test data to reduce the risk of data being used in an incorrect context

Organisational regimes

Cloud estates can be organised by a range of different attributes:

Group by Examples Comment
Application Website, ITSM, CRM Can be too fine-grained for organisations with many apps.
Architecture ThreeTier, DataCenter Often simplifies relationship between pipelines and cloud resource containers, though this is rarely a cause of inefficiency.
Audience Customers, Partners, Internal Often simplifies policy management where governance rules differ based on the audience that the resource is serving.
Department HR, Finance, IT Works when support teams are aligned to department. Needs policy for “shared” resources.
Environment dev, test, production Often used in conjunction with another grouping mechanism. See also Environments.
Partner Stu's Cloud, Internal, IT LTD Useful where a wider cloud estate is managed by a range of service partners.

In reality it is likely that large cloud estates will incorporate a combination of these regimes, arranged in a hierarchy.

Security account hierarchy in Microsoft Azure In this example, a cloud estate is organised using Management Groups, first by whether an estate is managed internally or by a partner. Internally managed resources are then arranged by audience, while partners are arranged by organisation. Test and production subscriptions are then made available within each part of the management group.
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