Management & Governance

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AWS Organizations

AWS Organizations helps you centrally manage and govern your environment as you grow and scale your AWS resources.

Using AWS Organizations, you can programmatically create new AWS accounts and allocate resources, group accounts to organize your workflows, apply policies to accounts or groups for governance, and simplify billing by using a single payment method for all of your accounts.


  • Manage your AWS accounts – AWS accounts are natural boundaries for permission, security, costs, and workloads. Using a multi-account environment is a recommended best-practice when scaling your cloud environment. You can simplify account creation by programmatically creating new accounts using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), SDKs, or APIs, and centrally provision recommended resources and permissions to those accounts with AWS CloudFormation StackSets.
  • Define and manage your organization – As you create new accounts, you can group them into organizational units (OUs), or groups of accounts that serve a single application or service. Apply tag polices to classify or track resources in your organization, and provide attribute-based access control for users or applications.
  • Secure and monitor your accounts –  You can centrally provide tools and access for your security team to manage security needs on behalf of the organization.
  • Control access and permissions – Set up Amazon Single Sign-On (SSO) to provide access to AWS accounts and resources using your active directory, and customize permissions based on separate job roles. You can also apply service control policies (SCPs) to users, accounts, or OUs to control access to AWS resources, services, and Regions within your organization.
  • Share resources across accounts – You can share AWS resources within your organization using AWS Resource Allocation Management (RAM).
  • Audit your environment for compliance – You can activate AWS CloudTrail across accounts, which creates a log of all activity in your cloud environment that cannot be turned off or modified by member accounts. You can also set policies to enforce backups on your specified cadence with AWS Backup, or define recommended configuration settings for resources across accounts and AWS Regions with AWS Config.

Service Control Policies (SCPs)

Service control policies (SCPs) are a type of organization policy that you can use to manage permissions in your organization.

SCPs offer central control over the maximum available permissions for all accounts in your organization.

SCPs help you to ensure your accounts stay within your organization’s access control guidelines. SCPs are available only in an organization that has all features enabled.

SCPs alone are not sufficient to granting permissions to the accounts in your organization.

No permissions are granted by an SCP. An SCP defines a guardrail, or sets limits, on the actions that the account’s administrator can delegate to the IAM users and roles in the affected accounts.

The administrator must still attach identity-based or resource-based policies to IAM users or roles, or to the resources in your accounts to actually grant permissions.

The effective permissions are the logical intersection between what is allowed by the SCP and what is allowed by the IAM and resource-based policies.