Driving Success in Your Cloud Journey: The Role of CCoE

Businesses should start thinking of building a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) when they plan to migrate to the cloud or expand their cloud usage significantly. It’s essential when facing challenges in cloud governance, security, or lack of cloud expertise, and when scaling cloud operations or driving cloud-driven digital transformation initiatives. Establishing a CCoE helps streamline cloud management, optimize resource utilization, foster innovation, and develop cloud skills for long-term success in the cloud.

Cloud Center Of Excellence

One of the biggest obstacles for any organization in its cloud transformation journey is not related to technology alone. The key success factors of cloud initiatives are also highly dependent upon its people and the culture.

A successful  cloud transformation strategy  should begin by answering the following key questions :

  1. What are the strategic business outcomes that we are trying to achieve with the Cloud Transformation ?
  2. What are the right technologies that can help our business in terms of better performance, cost,time-to-market, and innovation capabilities?
  3. What is the timeline & roadmap to achieve the successful cloud transformation?
  4. How to determine the current baseline state of the organization for operations & security compliance and how it can be improved?
  5. How to ensure the best practices for the cloud transformation?
  6. How to obtain the right skills and enterprise architecture in place?
  7. How do we select the right vendors and cloud services for the cloud projects & post-migration support?

The optimal way to get all the right answers to these questions is to create a centralized cloud-center-of-excellence (CCOE).

Cloud Center Of Excellence Strategy

What is the Cloud-Center-of-Excellence(CCOE)

It’s your first step toward building a successful cloud transformation strategy 

Cloud Center of Excellence(CCOE) is essentially a Cloud-Strategy-Office within your organization that is comprised of cross-functional team members and experts. Establishing a CCOE is the first step toward building a successful cloud strategy for your organization. A CCOE helps you to drive the successful cloud transformation both from a technical and business perspective. It acts as the centralized cloud governance body to supervise all the cloud initiatives and assist the organization with the right information to make timely decisions.

CCOE plays a consultative role for central IT to formulate the cloud policies and map them to the overall business objectives and plan for migrating the business-critical workloads to the cloud.


How to build a productive CCOE team?

Create a diverse group of talented professionals to help you through your cloud transformation

Cloud transformation will touch all the key business units and their processes, applications, and databases across the entire organization. Therefore CCOE includes representatives from a diverse group of talented professionals like system administrators, developers, operations, network engineers, and database administrators. Besides, the CCOE also includes resources from different business domains, marketing, finance, service desk  HR, and/or customer service to oversee the business transformation. In addition, you may also hire external SMEs and consultants depending upon the complexities of your business cases.

At a minimum, the CCOE typically includes the following experts:

Infrastructure Expert: Depending upon the cloud models, ie IaaS, PaaS, Hybrid, private or public cloud, CCOE will need infrastructure experts to provide information on the existing hardware stack and its configuration. They will understand how the cloud transformation will impact the infrastructure components and will help to minimize the risks during the transition process.

Security Expert: Security has to be planned right during the strategy phase and in the cloud, security works at various touchpoints i.e. application authorization, data security, and network security. CCOE should include security experts to ensure security at all levels.

Operational Expert: Operation experts will be required to understand how the cloud transformation will impact the underlying business functions so they can provide important information on various dependencies. This will help during the transition process in factoring in all the business functions & procedures.

Business Expert: CCOEs will need to be provided with the business domain knowledge to prioritize the workload migration based on their business criticality. Business experts should be included in the CCOE to govern the business transition.


What are the key responsibilities of a CCOE?

It provides your organization the helpline on cloud best practices 

Cloud adaption is not about replication of what you did on-prem.CCOE does not handle any day-to-day operational responsibilities nor it is a project management body.

The primary goal of the CCOE team is to accelerate cloud adaption through cloud-native and hybrid solutions It provides advice and guidelines on cloud best practices, frameworks, and reference architectures. It is responsible to capture the business requirements and implement them using agile approaches. Besides this, CCOE’s job is to ensure security compliance and service management policies.

At its core, CCOE’s main responsibility is to supervise the cloud transformation and migrate your workloads to the cloud. After successful cloud migration, CCOE plays as a helpline for application owners, operational teams, business managers, and others involved in running & managing day-to-day cloud infrastructure services.

CCOE regularly communicates with the stakeholders on the status, change management, processes, and procedures


When do you need the CCOE?

It helps you at every stage of the planning and execution phase.

Planning: If you are running or planning to start a digital transformation project and need to have a cost-governance model, monitoring, reporting, and optimized cloud strategy to get the rest of the organization on board for your digital journey.

Team Building: If you are wondering how to build the right team that can be made responsible for planning and executing the cloud transformation project from both technical and business perspectives and can help your organization achieve the highest security compliance & IT best practices implemented by your cloud system-integrator (SI) partner.

Training: If you want to train your staff to be ready for post-migration support. The CCOE team empowers your organization to have an internal helpline available for your staff to solve complex problems now and in the future and educate them on the right solutions and procedures.

Communication: If you want to establish a robust communication channel between the stakeholders, business units & IT to have them all on the same page and engage them to participate in the transformation initiatives during and after the cloud transformation phase.

Risk Management: If you want to minimize the risks of a big-bang approach and instead start with small projects and subsequently scale up with repeatable quick successes.

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