Three Branches of AZ Governance

May 28, 2024


In the world of cloud computing, governance is key to ensuring that your organization’s cloud environment is secure, compliant, and optimized for cost and performance. Microsoft Azure offers a suite of tools to help you govern your cloud resources effectively. Let’s dive into three fundamental concepts: Policy, Initiative, and Blueprint.

Azure Policy

Azure Policy is a service that helps you enforce organizational standards and assess compliance at scale. Through its policy definitions, you can set rules for your Azure resources, ensuring they comply with your company’s requirements and external regulations. For example, you can create a policy that only allows resources to be deployed in specific regions or one that mandates certain configurations for virtual machines. In essence, policy is the definition of the conditions which you want to control.

Azure Initiative

An Initiative in Azure is a collection of policies grouped to achieve a specific overarching goal. Think of it as a policy pack. By grouping related policies, you can track their compliance collectively, which simplifies the governance process. For instance, if your goal is to ensure all data is stored securely, you might create an initiative that includes policies related to encryption, access control, and network security.

Azure Blueprint

Azure Blueprint is like a project template that includes resource templates, policy assignments, and role assignments. It’s a declarative way to orchestrate the deployment of various resource templates and other artifacts such as role assignments and policy assignments. Blueprints help you set up governed environments consistently and repeatably. For example, you can create a blueprint for a compliant network that includes virtual networks, subnets, and security rules, and then deploy it across multiple environments.

Implementing Governance in Azure

To implement governance in Azure, you should start by defining your organizational compliance requirements. Once you have a clear understanding of these requirements, you can begin creating policies that reflect them. After your policies are in place, group them into initiatives based on common goals or compliance standards.

Next, consider how you can use blueprints to automate the deployment of your governed environment. Blueprints can save you time and reduce the risk of human error by ensuring that every environment you set up meets your governance standards from the start.

Best Practices for Azure Governance

  • Start Small: Begin with a few key policies and expand as you become more comfortable with the tools.
  • Use Built-in Definitions: Azure provides many built-in policy and initiative definitions that you can use as a starting point.
  • Test Policies in Audit Mode: Before enforcing a policy, test it in audit mode to understand its impact without blocking resource deployment.
  • Leverage Azure Management Groups: Organize your subscriptions into management groups and apply governance policies at scale.
  • Monitor Compliance: Regularly review your compliance state using Azure’s compliance dashboard.


Azure’s governance tools are powerful allies in managing your cloud resources. By understanding and utilizing Policy, Initiative, and Blueprint, you can ensure that your Azure environment aligns with your organizational standards and regulatory requirements. Start exploring these tools today and take the first step towards a more secure and compliant cloud experience. Remember, the journey to effective cloud governance is ongoing, and Azure’s tools are designed to evolve with your organization’s needs.


Justin Tadros is a Project Manager and Data Analyst at The Training Boss. Justin has a bachelor degree in Theater performance from Rollins College and currently pursuing his Masters in business at the University of Center Florida.  Justin is certified on Microsoft Power BI and Progress Sitefinity Sales accreditation with on going training on Python and CMS technologies.  Justin performs in theaters in Orlando, Boston, Alaska and stand up comic whenever the opportunity arises.  His passion for performing and bringing incredible customer service to any industry he approaches is second to his commitment, dedication and hard work.


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