In our last blog, we examined the 3 major responsibilities Cloud Centers of Excellence (CCoEs) fulfill. But how do these top-line principles translate to best practices that place the cloud at the heart of enterprise functions?
The key is to make CCoE services convenient and efficient. Beyond checklists and contingencies, instill an operational culture that entrenches cloud integration within the entire enterprise.
Fully leveraging cloud and CCoE capabilities involves a shift in organizational thinking. And unless that shift is easy to execute, every attempt to implement change will be met with efficiency-sapping resistance and delays.
CCoEs are best employed to enable existing business functions. They are not equipped for command-and-control roles. Positioning CCoE services as a solution for stakeholders and their routine issues enhances performance without disrupting regular processes.
Fostering trust with executives, application team leaders, and users is critical to building an effective CCoE that can coordinate functions and improve existing capabilities without provoking internal conflict, delays, or damage to cohesion.
CCoE teams should include leaders and experts from every business function to ensure efforts are cohesive and prevent silos. But a top-heavy approach will only go so far.
Effective CCoEs integrate with every business unit, team, and workflow. And all stakeholders, not just function leaders, should have equal access to the CCoE’s knowledge base, advisory, and resources.
Building in cross-organizational communications channels and protocols creates an open culture of communication with the CCoE team that permeates from departmental head to individual user, accelerating the provision of assistance.
Open communications also enhance internal speed to market. The CCoE becomes a front-of-mind advisor for initiatives driven by specific units, enhancing its ability to coordinate and lead.
When it comes to consistency and efficiency, forewarned is forearmed. Standardized, reliable, and reusable frameworks detailing contingency action for every function and situation save time, energy, and accelerate processes.
Protocols and asset templates, such as the below, introduce reliability and uniformity across a range of process areas and technical competencies:
Cloud architecture and design planning
Project and cost management functions
Data governance and regulation policies
Security frameworks and contingencies
Cloud bill and subscription management
Business and product owner engagement
Design frameworks for reliability and consistency, with sufficient flexibility for experimentation and optimization to match evolving business needs.
CCoEs operate at full tilt from the outset. Extensive responsibilities leave little room to refit team composition mid-flight. Consequently, every part of the team must be in place from the start to minimize disruptions and maximize speed to market.
Although specific positions will differ from enterprise to enterprise, 5 key competencies should be present in every CCoE team:
Internal leaders representing the needs and capabilities of business units, departments, and teams
Senior executives to provide operational knowledge of processes, procedures, workflows, and to lend credibility and authority
Infrastructure experts who will determine the best cloud model, how to select and run apps, and store data efficiently
Application developers and owners to guide solutions design, development, and deployment
Cybersecurity experts to evaluate threats and formulate integration with the broader security architecture
There’s no telling how long the journey to cloud maturity will take. Evolving business and tech landscapes, strategic aims, and operational realities can prolong processes, extend objectives, inflict costs, and cause delays.
A comprehensive application migration strategy helps anticipate and mitigate negative impacts. CCoE teams should also watch for long-term opportunities to expedite cloud integration, prepare contingencies, and enhance processes. Common areas to monitor include:
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) contingencies at every stage of migration and integration
Incorporating SaaS, PaaS, and vendor solutions ahead of time to meet projected needs beyond IaaS infrastructure
Optimizing migration templates and other assets to reflect evolving best practices
No matter how well-prepared, CCoE teams must remain agile and vigilant. Changing conditions will make adjustments to roles, skills, and scope of work inevitable.
It’s easy to resort to generalities when talking about CCoE best practices. No business function or broader enterprise operates or migrates the same way. But the benefits of building a CCoE outweigh any downsides. Implementation of a cohesive cloud development plan enables organizational effectiveness and efficiency that goes well beyond the cloud – and it’s never too early to start planning.
This blog concludes our 4-part series on cloud cost optimization. Click on the links to read Part 1 on cloud-friendly application development, Part 2 on prioritizing apps for cloud migration, and Part 3 on the top-line responsibilities of successful CCoEs.
Ensure you’re building a culture of cloud enablement and optimize your CCoE’s performance. Talk with a Wavestone cloud expert.
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