CCoE-as-a-Service

By February 4, 2021 Powerlearnings

Written by Vinay Kalyan Parakala, SVP – Global Sales (Cloud Practice), LTI

Contributor Agnel Bankien, Head – Marketing at Powerup Cloud Technologies

Summary:

With the significant growth in cloud markets, it is necessary that organizations inculcate cloud governance and operational excellence through dedicated Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE). It helps streamline and strengthen businesses by executing governance strategies across the infrastructure, platform and software as a service cloud models.

Every organization essentially needs to adopt a particular type of CCoE that best fits, in order to modernize their business and progress alongside continuously evolving technologies and innovation. CCoEs are internal and external teams built across finance, operations, security, compliance, architecture and human resources functions that aligns cloud offerings with the organizational strategies.

Therefore to facilitate effortless migrations along with agility, flexibility, cost optimization and multi-cloud management while perceiving how enterprises can structure and standardize their operations, it is important to establish a CCoE that would lead organizations through an effective cloud transformation journey. 

Index:

  1. What is Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE)?
  2. The need for CCoE
  3. Types of CCoE 
    1. Functional CCoE
    2. Advisory CCoE
    3. Prescriptive CCoE
  4. Best practices for configuring a CCoE
  5. Conclusion

What is Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE)?

Fortune Business Insights predict that the global cloud computing market size is anticipated to hit USD 760.98 billion by 2027. With the cloud markets accelerating, it is vital that organizations emphasize strongly on strategic planning and migration more than ever. 

A successful shift to the cloud needs complete alignment of businesses and resources, which is why a comprehensive cloud governance structure may not be enough to interact with and support cloud environments. 

Forging ahead, enterprises will need to focus attention on cloud operational excellence in order to streamline and enhance their businesses, thus driving them to establish a dedicated centralized Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE).

A CCoE is a cross-functional internal or external team comprising mainly of DevOps, CloudOps, Infrastructure, Security and FinOps that oversees cloud adoption, migration and operational functions. Additionally, the CCoE team also governs the IT and cloud infrastructure, confirming that it meets the organization’s expectations. 

To elaborate further, it signifies that CCOE enables cloud operational excellence across all cloud service models of infrastructure, platform and software as a service (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). The three pillars of CCoE being; 

Governance – CCoE creates cloud policies and guidelines in collaboration with cross functional teams, helps plan technical strategies and select centralized governance tools to address financial and risk management processes. 

Brokerage – Encompasses selection of cloud providers, architects cloud solutions as well as directs contract negotiation and vendor management.

Community – CCoE puts up a community of practice, enables knowledge sharing via building knowledge and source code repositories, conducts trainings, CoP councils and collaboration across all segments of an organization.

In totality, the CCoE ensures that cloud adoption is not siloed and encourages repeatable cloud processes and standards to be incepted as best practices. According to a recent survey, only 16 % of organizations have a fully-fledged CCoE, while 47 % are still working towards it.

The need for CCoE

The objective of the CCoE is to focus on the modernization of existing ITIL-based processes and governance standards while taking people, processes and technology, collectively into account.

  • By assembling the right people from the right functions, CCoEs can accurately comprehend and address opportunities to keep pace with progressing technology and innovative transformations.

The CCoE has the ability to answer migration related concerns like;

  • Is re-platforming needed? 
  • Will the lift and shift strategy be a better choice? 
  • What must be done to the original data while migrating? Etc. 

This strengthens and eases the decision-making capabilities of organizational teams kindling a structured cloud ecosystem in the long run.

When CCoE is successfully implemented, there is significant reduction in time-to-market, increased reliability, security and performance efficiency.

  • Over time, the CCoE team operations can gain more maturity and experience; affirming notable improvement in quality, security, reliability and performances on cloud. Organizations would eventually shape shift towards agility, paving way for smoother migrations, multi-cloud management, asset management, cost governance and customer satisfaction. 
  • Since a CCoE model works in coalition with cloud adoption, cloud strategy, governance, cloud platform and automation, the focus is more on delegated responsibility and centralized control, unlike the traditional IT set up, bringing about an impactful cultural shift within enterprises. 

Types of CCoE 

There are mainly three operational CCoEs that can help reinforce a cloud governance model. 

  • Functional CCoE: Encourages in building an exclusive team that can drive cloud initiatives, speed up analysis and decisions making processes, set cloud expertise standards, and act as a delivery catalyst in the cloud transformation.
  • Advisory CCoE: This is a team that provides consultative reviews and guidance on cloud best practices. Advisory teams establish and propel standards for new policies especially in a large and dynamic multi-project organizational set up.
  • Prescriptive CCoE: Acts as a leadership policy board highlighting how cloud projects should be constituted and executed within organizations. They help in defining policies for application deployment as well as identity and access management, set automation, security and audit standards and ensure that large enterprises become cloud governance competent.

Best practices for configuring a CCoE

Once organizations determine what type of CCoE fits them, the right team constructs and role definitions are vital in defining the cloud governance model. It is recommended that the founding team starts small with 3 to 5 members who can focus on a finite vision to begin with.

The most critical role in the CCoE team is that of an Executive Sponsor who leads the change bringing along other stakeholders from functions like finance, operations, security, compliance, architecture and human resources. 

Finance implements cost controls and optimization; operations manage the entire DevOps lifecycle round the clock whereas security and compliance define and establish cloud security standards and governance compliance practices. Cloud architecture expertise is included to bring in best practices and define a future roadmap that is cloud technology led. The CCoE is incomplete without the human resources who execute training programs and changes in workforce to make organizations cloud savvy. 

As soon as the appropriate team is formed, a CCoE charter stating the objectives, operational goals along with roles and responsibilities need to be scripted. 

For CCOE to define how cloud solutions will be extended and be in line with the organization’s project lifecycle, it is essential to draft a deployment plan.

It is important that the CCoE team works with authority and yet maintains harmony while integrating with the rest of the organization for a successful cloud transformation.

Lastly, organizations that migrate to cloud do so, to avail cost benefits, increase efficiency, flexibility and scalability of operations. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the CCoE team to measure key performances to keep a check on the cloud usage, infrastructure cost and performance at regular intervals.

Conclusion

The Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) helps accelerate cloud adoption by driving governance, developing reusable frameworks, overseeing cloud usage, and maintaining cloud learning. It aligns cloud offerings with the organizational strategies to lead an effective cloud transformation journey.

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