Change Management through Cloud Center of Excellence

Introduction

We are leaving in an interesting time where all enterprises worldwide, racing to accelerate cloud adoption, are facing the same issues brought by increased complexity in the infrastructures, hybrid, and multi-cloud.

Source: Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report: COVID-19 accelerates cloud plans and spend as more organizations adopt multi-cloud strategies

The introduction of new solutions always brings new issues. Organizations are juggling between a variety of apps, legacy monolithic, off-the-shelf, native apps; across hybrid data center, public multi-cloud, and edge. While balancing the old with the new, the need to scale, making sure to preserve security and compliance.

The Problem

Multi-Cloud vendors’ diversification increases security, compliance, and cost management challenges caused by the lack of centralized resource management, monitoring, governance and proper skills. Overwhelmed by a multitude of capabilities not well aware of how to use them, organizations are struggling to handle different technologies and solutions in perpetual evolution.

On top of that, the core challenge: change management.

How people, processes, and technology blend together within the uniqueness of each organizational structure, focusing on customer-driven business objectives?

In many cases, decision-making processes and budget approval timing prevent appreciating the agility provided by the technology and to achieve the cloud’s full potential.

Source: Gartner. Most organizations adopt cloud computing organically, often beginning with ad hoc projects driven by the business, rather than with well-organized methodical adoption driven by central IT. Over time, central IT needs to bring ad hoc adoption under a more formal governance framework and drive the maturation of the organization’s cloud computing journey.

Best Practices

Stephen Orban, leader of AWS’s Enterprise Strategy and former CIO that led Dow Jones’s journey toward digital agility, introduced the seven famous steps for cloud success

  • executive support

The last one, the Cloud Center of Excellence, is so far, the only successful enabler of the previous six. Only a team responsible and accountable for cloud success (CCoE) can make sure to execute on:

  • Finding continuous support from the executive team

Cloud Center of Excellence

Goal — Accelerating business transformation through cloud-enabled business-led innovation efforts, advising on strategic business decisions that could be impacted by the use of cloud computing.

How — Providing a how-to guide for the execution model of cloud’s strategy (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS) that suits the organization in order to build a business-outcome-driven enterprise architecture, at scale.

Team — People coming from a diverse set of IT professional backgrounds, energetic, self-motivated, with a growth mindset. Result-oriented, and customer focus, willing to try and iterate, drive experiments, able to influence, evangelize, and train.

Who is going to benefit:

  • Leadership — strategy — CIOs, CTOs get clarity of vision, direction, alignment, and buy-in from C-levels in line with the organization mission, vision, and values

Activities:

  • Governance — establish foundational components upfront as early as possible in the cloud journey throughout policies, guidelines, technical strategy. Setting up best design practices (PoC, automation, assess the technology,) build centralize tools, repeatable frameworks, guardrails on roles and permissions, monitoring, incident management, security model, systems migrations, apps prioritizations, account management, data compliance. Capacity demand, cost model, and governance for capacity demand increases or decreases. Identify actionable metrics to forecast risks and to build reports for finance management

CCoE should be a go-to place that not tells folks what to do but helps them to go faster. Capable of talking in different languages and engaging at all levels, CCoE facilitates the collaboration between business, finance, and IT to drive changes with operational efficiencies and proven successes, in order to achieve common goals and KPI.

Conclusion

Change management takes time unless supported by a strong top-down will followed by an actionable mandate to innovate in an unnegotiable short period of time. Multi-Cloud adoption has introduced a new trigger for change management: multi-cloud consumption financial management. Organizations in the business transformation journey will be compelled to progressively change their processes, in order to avoid cost overrun from siloed hyperscalers, taking advantage of a dedicated team like CCoE

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