As organisations progress with their Cloud journey, unforeseen challenges can spring up at any point, including scope changes and other impacts of Cloud such as vendor management or security.
A great way to deal with these unpredictable challenges and to establish robust governance around organisations' use of cloud is to set up a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCOE). The CCOE can flexibly, and rapidly, make decisions as well as a clear focal point for all cloud thinking and planning.
In this blog, our experts look at how a CCOE works and how you can tell if you need to set one up.
What Is A Cloud Centre Of Excellence?
A CCOE is a cross-functional team responsible for driving the migration to cloud. They are responsible for ensuring the cloud strategy is executed in a way that allows for flexibility but still maintains good practice and meets regulatory and security standards. The role of the CCOE typically includes:
1. Community: using effective comms to share best practices, training opportunities, maintain and publicise a knowledge base and generally keep teams motivated about the cloud.
2. Brokerage: focus on the sourcing of services (working closely with architects from CCOE), procurement of these services and negotiating contracts.
3. Governance: creation of policies, tools and processes to manage the cloud migration and minimise risk as well as owning and tracking the benefits / business case.
What Are The Best Practices To Set One Up?
1. Treat your cloud like your product
View your application team leaders as your customers; you want to drive enablement and resulting efficiencies, not control their every move. By trusting your IT leaders to handle the development and operations they are charged with, you can avoid any innovation bottlenecks or progress delays.
2. Build a cross-organizational cloud culture into everything you do
CCOEs necessarily reach every touchpoint of an organization, making it important to have representatives from different departments on your CCOE team. Also critical to your success is to build in cross-organizational communications protocols for requesting and gaining CCOE support for initiatives.
6. Evolve the structure of the CCOE team as the business evolves
7. Promote cross-organizational learning and maturity for the cloud journeyAn effective cloud centre of excellence has clear goals and lines of accountability for cloud planning, management, usage, and spend. The team behind the cloud centre of excellence needs to identify long-term opportunities for cloud activities beyond IaaS (i.e., for application migration and rationalization and cloud-native PaaS, SaaS, DR/BCP, security, etc.) and create a comprehensive application migration strategy. The team will also continually adjust and improve cloud migration templates and best practices for consistency and efficiency.
Do You Really Need A CCOE - And To What Extent?
Many organisations have already implemented a CCOE but that doesn’t mean all organisations would benefit from setting one up in the near term. We would suggest that there are 3 key questions to ask to understand whether any organisation would benefit:
1. Where is the organisation on the path to cloud? Organisations very early in this journey may benefit from agreeing and socialising a cloud strategy before a CCOE will provide value. Organisations who already have very mature cloud usage will need to compare a CCOE capability to their existing governance, planning and sourcing arrangements to understand if there is any additional value or efficiency to be added.
There are many upsides to building your own CCOE, but it needs to be well supported and well planned to ensure that it is able to deliver to expectations. As with any specialist capability, there is the potential to cause damage to the IT ‘brand’ if it is not delivered well. Our recommendation is that organisations should assess the questions above at the minimum to decide if now is when it makes the most sense to launch CCOE.
As organisations continue to rely on the cloud to aid digital transformation efforts, having a Cloud Centre of Excellence to plan and govern cloud migration efforts and offer a shared roadmap for all future development and operations has the power to make the organisation more efficient, more flexible and more able to respond to external influences.
For further Coeus advice around the Cloud Journey, view here