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Cloud Centre of Excellence - and why you might need one

The Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) is a cross-functional team of people responsible for developing and managing the Cloud strategy, governance, and best practices that the rest of the organisation can leverage to transform the business.

The CCoE leads the organisation as a whole in Cloud adoption, migration, and operations.

The CCoE's Challenge

This team can also be called more simply: the Cloud Competency Centre - a team where the knowledge, experience and competency lives. But note, though it needs to be, and stay ahead of, the technology curve - it is more than just a technology competency centre - as it needs to lead the organisational change associated with successful transformation.

Organisations are made up of real people - individuals with complex needs - not just names in boxes on an org chart. For any business transformation to be successful, these individuals must adapt to, and adopt the Cloud, and will do so only if it meets their needs. That is the CCoE’s challenge.

Building a CCoE

A simple approach to building the right team is to start by selecting one individual to represent each one of the Six Perspectives of the Cloud Adoption Framework:

  • Business

  • People

  • Governance

  • Platform

  • Security

  • Operations

Very quickly you will have a cross-functional group of SMEs representing:

  • Infrastructure and Operations

  • Security and Communications

  • PMO

  • Applications & Data

  • Business / IT Alignment

  • Finance and Governance

If you are doing application development, obviously you will need a DevOps capability too.

When selecting your team, the desirable character traits of individuals is that they should be:

  • Bold

  • Experimentation driven

  • Results-oriented

  • Customer-focussed

  • Able to influence.

Be sure to give the team a Charter with well-defined KPIs - clearly linked to business and financial outcomes. Its role is that of “Change Leadership” so make enthusiasm for Cloud an essential criteria for all members. They will need to engage and evangelise and treat Cloud as their Product and application team leaders as their customers.

What does the CCoE do?

Aligned to the Six Perspectives, the CCoE represents two functional groups: the Cloud Business Office (CBO) and Cloud Engineering.

The Cloud Business Office ensures that Cloud services meet the needs of the internal customers, and owns the functions of organisational change, stakeholder requirements and cost optimisation, whilst the Cloud Engineering group focuses on performance, availability, and security.

CBO assists with the development of new user requirements, on-boarding applications and users to the Cloud. It also handles internal marketing and communications.

The Cloud Engineering group develops reference architectures and repeatable patterns, which are particularly important when you are developing your own software. They own functions such as infrastructure automation, operational tools and processes, and security. They optimise the speed at which a business unit can access Cloud resources.

As the organisation moves along the Discover - Build - Operate continuum, so the team’s responsibilities (and composition) will evolve from more innovators and change agents to more operators and governance. It is also useful to rotate individuals within each function, and from different Lines of Business as the Cloud transformation works through the organisation.

PolarSeven are an AWS Advanced Consulting, Public Sector Partner and registered advanced supplier with SCM0020 with SOC compliance. PolarSeven are uniquely placed to help public sector organisations assess their Cloud readiness and support them on their journey to Public Cloud.

Contact us if you would like to discuss Application Discovery, or any other element of planning your migration to the Cloud.

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