- Mike Dodson
How to make Cloud boring!
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Speeding results using Cloud Centre of Excellence as a Service
Many global enterprise organisations are implementing a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) with demonstrable results. But what if your organisation can not invest in a fully resourced CCoE ?
Much can be learned by looking at CCoE best practice and also considering innovative ways of working with trusted partners to fill the gaps.
The implications of entering into a ‘cloud first’ strategy without a central governing body is likely to cause challenges later as the reality of not establishing best practices and governance impacts the timescales and costs of your cloud ambitions.
Cloud computing is recognised as a key enabler for business digital transformation (DX). Spending on cloud solutions such as SaaS is taking place outside of IT as well as the common issue of developers building their own cloud environments for Test and Dev workloads. But the CIO is often accountable for the IT aspects of these decisions and services provided. The scope of cloud computing is now wide and deep across the entire enterprise. Business leaders are demanding better support from IT for their digital initiatives. Without control, pockets of cloud expertise will grow in isolation. Cloud strategy deserves a dedicated and specialist role within the CIO’s organisation.
Defining CCoE Terms of Reference
This is the first and most crucial step for success! Implementation of a CCoE provides a single point of contact and responsibility for cloud strategy and best practice. Measures include improvements in outcomes and reductions in risks. The role provides governance and is consultative across multiple stakeholders. As such, to maximise effectiveness, the Terms of Reference should be agreed by working with all stakeholders. It is especially important to agree the relationship and potential workload impacts with all related teams across the organisation.
CCoE roles and responsibilities
CCoE responsibilities include setting cloud policy, guiding supplier selection, cloud platform evaluation and assisting with solution architecture and workload provisioning policies. The CCoE doesn’t have day-to-day operational or project management responsibilities but the Head of CCoE should have seniority to influence and coordinate across all stakeholders. Other roles will be performed by dedicated resources or virtual resources depending on budget commitment.
The CCoE remit is essentially an Enterprise Architect (EA) function so the next level down structure will be EA domain experts. Cloud Architecture and Cloud Security roles are most likely to be in-house resources. Each stakeholder will be required to commit time and resources in proportion to their needs from the desired outcome. Other subject matter expert resources related to projects can be provided on contract via a consultancy partner as external resources.
Recommendations on CCoE structure can be found which suggests up to thirteen different roles in a fully resourced CCoE. This approach is certain to suggest to some organisations that a fully staffed CCoE is out of reach. In addition, to stand up an internal service takes time to justify the headcount and to recruit and train talent. This will impact the timelines for key achieving CCoE milestones.
CCoE Success Criteria (Source: Google)
Measuring the success of the CCoE depends on a number of factors but these can be summarised as being based around the positive progress made by the CCoE team on the organisation’s cloud roadmap and ambitions.
Evolution of the CCoE
One of the challenges in staffing a CCoE is that the priorities of the CCoE will change over time as aligned to the development and maturity of Cloud and Digital Transformation in the Enterprise. Skills required will also change and in a small team this may be challenging.
At the early stages, focus will be on development and commitment to a Strategic approach with stakeholder engagement being an important skill. As maturity moves toward planning the execution, a technical understanding of Cloud Native philosophies and technologies will be required. Clearly these roles are different and may require different resources.
At a project level, deep subject matter expertise will be required. Examples being tools evaluation, automation and Cloud Security (as mapped to existing Security measures and plans which are owned by an existing CISO Team). Cloud touches so many other areas: Public v Private v Hybrid v Multi-cloud; Analytics/AI/ML; IoT; Cloud Data Management; Application Performance Management; Operating Model; and integration with existing Outsourced Services (Network, Datacentre, etc.). All of these factors add to the complexity of the CCoE task.
Milestones for CCoE evolution can be assumed to meet the following objectives:
Modernise IT by implementing agile methodologies and value streams
Build iterative processes for provisioning, with baked-in security, compliance and service management policies
Architect a cloud environment that provides high availability and scalability in its design
Evaluate, consolidate and approve Cloud Native tools and platforms
Continuous iteration using standardised automation solutions
Advocate software development as a complete lifecycle, SDLC
CCoE velocity must be achieved in the first 12 months: you want to win stakeholders; create a Landing Zone; and demonstrate success in application and data migration.
At MultiCloud Global, we offer a CCoE-as-a-Service solution to help with the formation of the CCoE and to fill any skills gap.
CCoE-as-a-Service will condense your timescales by using our experience to generate frameworks for Standards, Best Practice, Governance and Reporting.
CCoE-as-a-Service will deliver a set of profiles and skills that will de-risk your costs, benefiting your business by reducing your time to finalise a cloud roadmap by up to 12 months.
CCoE-as-a-Service will deliver to you a cloud roadmap within the first 6 months of formation and be ready to start executing on your roadmap in the next 6 months.
In this way we positively use CCoE-as-a-Service to help our clients to accelerate their cloud ambitions.