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Do you need a Cloud Center of Excellence?
Episode 810th October 2022 • Modern Digital Business • Lee Atchison
00:00:00 00:12:22

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In the past few years, cloud computing has become a dominant trend in enterprise IT. The benefits of moving to the cloud are clear, lower costs, flexibility, and scalability. But as more companies move their infrastructure into public clouds like AWS or Azure, they face a challenge that is often overlooked. How do I transform an organization from a typical on-premise company to a cloud-native cloud-centric organization?

A Cloud Center of Excellence, or a CCoE for short, is an organizational entity that has emerged as a driving influence, enabling the cloud native transformation to accelerate.

As cloud-based applications become ubiquitous and cloud adoption rates continue to grow. CCoEs are becoming more prevalent in many modern organizations. But what does a cloud center of excellence actually look like? And how do they assist in your organization's transformation?

Today on Modern Digital Business.

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About Lee

Lee Atchison is a software architect, author, public speaker, and recognized thought leader on cloud computing and application modernization. His most recent book, Architecting for Scale (O’Reilly Media), is an essential resource for technical teams looking to maintain high availability and manage risk in their cloud environments. Lee has been widely quoted in multiple technology publications, including InfoWorld, Diginomica, IT Brief, Programmable Web, CIO Review, and DZone, and has been a featured speaker at events across the globe.

Take a look at Lee's many books, courses, and articles by going to leeatchison.com.

Looking to modernize your application organization?

Check out Architecting for Scale. Currently in it's second edition, this book, written by Lee Atchison, and published by O'Reilly Media, will help you build high scale, highly available web applications, or modernize your existing applications. Check it out! Available in paperback or on Kindle from Amazon.com or other retailers.


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LinkedIn Learning Courses

Are you looking to become an architect? Or perhaps are you looking to learn how to drive your organization towards better utilization of the cloud? Are you you looking for ways to help you utilize a Cloud Center of Excellence in your organization? I have a whole series of cloud and architecture courses available on LinkedIn Learning. For more information, please go to leeatchison.com/courses or mdb.fm/courses.

Transcripts

Lee:

In the past few years, cloud computing has become a dominant trend

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in enterprise IT, but the challenge of transforming your organization

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from an on-premise company to a cloud centric organization can be daunting.

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Is your organization struggling with this transformation?

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Maybe you need a Cloud Center of Excellence.

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Want to learn more?

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Okay, let's go.

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In the past few years, cloud computing has become a dominant trend in enterprise IT.

Lee:

The benefits of moving to the cloud are clear, lower costs,

Lee:

flexibility and scalability.

Lee:

But as more companies move their infrastructure into public clouds

Lee:

like AWS or, Azure, they face a challenge that is often overlooked.

Lee:

How do I transform an organization from a typical on premise company to a cloud

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native cloud centric organization.

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A cloud center of excellence, or a CCoE for short, is an organizational

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entity that has emerged as a driving influence, enabling the cloud

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native transformation to accelerate.

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As cloud based applications become ubiquitous and cloud

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adoption rates continue to grow.

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CCoEs are becoming more prevalent in many modern organizations.

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But what does a cloud center of excellence actually look like?

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And how do they assist in your organization's transformation?

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Well, there are as many ways to construct a CCoE as there are ways

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to construct an IT department.

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At its core, the CCoE is an organizational structure that is designed to accelerate

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the adoption and institution of cloud products, cloud principles, and

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cloud mindset into an organization.

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They're designed to be the beacon that helps drive an organization to become a

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cloud- native organization, to understand how they can help drive an organization to

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cloud success, here are six ways a cloud center of excellence can be a helpful

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tool in your organization's cloud journey.

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First, they provide best practices and provide an example

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for the organization to follow.

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The CCoE is designed to be a beacon for becoming cloud-centric and is sought

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out by other business units and project teams CCoEs represent an example of how

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to operate in a cloud-centric world.

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Using cloud native tools.

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The CCoE is responsible for creating, articulating, championing, and

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documenting best practices for the rest of the organization to follow.

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As an organization wide standard they point the organization in the

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right direction and helps prevent some of the common errors and

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pitfalls from being repeated by every single group in the organization.

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As the owner of best practices and their requirements, they engage the organization

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and drive the adaption of these best practices within their organizations,

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leading by example and acting the role of the organizational respected

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leaders is critical for cloud success.

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Besides cloud specific processes, CCoEs provide best practices in a variety of

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other related areas, including providing standardized coding practices, tool

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usage, and use of specific development, methodologies, and practices.

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This includes concepts such as enabling microservice architectures

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use of CI/CD pipelines and leveraging DevOps best practices.

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It's important that these best practices are championed by someone

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able to enforce the adaption across the entire organization.

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And the CCoE can provide this leadership.

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Second, they provide training for your teams.

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In order to be successful in a cloud centric world, your teams must be

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knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of using the cloud.

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This means cloud training, but what training does your organization require?

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Well, the CCoE is responsible for facilitating the training requirements

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for your entire organization in all things cloud related.

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These trainings can be created and directed by the CCoE team members

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that are evaluating cloud related products, services, and systems.

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Or they can be formalized, structured training programs that the CCoE

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has evaluated and approved.

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However, the training is executed.

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The CCoE is responsible for providing the cloud training requirements

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for the entire organization.

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Third, they create tooling and standards for the organization, a common and serious

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problem facing any organization going through a major restructure is how do they

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create the tools and implement standards necessary to thrive in their new reality?

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A cloud-centric restructuring is no exception.

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Basic cloud needs must be provided in clear and consistent ways.

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How do you do deployments to cloud services?

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What operating system image do you need on your cloud servers?

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How do you create tooling that you can replicate for development,

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staging and test environments, as well as for production environments?

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What setups are needed by development engineers to build

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and deploy cloud services?

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How do you tag cloud resources so you know who is using them?

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How do you determine what resources should be implemented

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and who makes those decisions?

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Can you use this brand new cloud service?

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What settings of this service are appropriate?

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Should I use this feature or capability of this service?

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How do you deploy the service in a standard way across the organization?

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And how do you handle monitoring, logging and analytics from the cloud services?

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How do you set up security settings in the cloud to meet

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the needs of the organization's security team and business needs?

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How do you incorporate the cloud changes into assisting in driving your other

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corporate initiatives, such as for instance DevOps standard setups can

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ease the cloud efforts of other groups in the organization, as well as ensure

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appropriate and consistent practices.

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The CCoE can lead the setup of these tools and standards leading to improved

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overall organizational cloud enablement, and consistent behaviors and practices

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across the entire organization.

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Fourth, they provide subject matter expertise to upper management.

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When an organization undergoes a transformation to a cloud-centric

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organization, they often face difficult organizational level decisions.

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Upper management needs information and expertise in

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order to make these decisions.

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That expertise comes from the experience of the CCoE.

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The CCoE is staffed with subject matter experts, SMEs that can

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provide expert guidance and direction on cloud best practices.

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By using their expertise to assist upper management, they help promote widespread

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adoption across the entire organization.

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Fifth CCOs make buy, make, and other decisions for the company on the cloud.

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An organization needs to make many decisions about which cloud

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capabilities to use, which cloud providers to use and how to use them.

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Should we build a required tool or should we bring in a third party equivalent?

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These sorts of decisions need to be made by individuals who are both

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expert in the cloud, as well as expert in the internal needs of the

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organization and their applications.

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The CCoE with the appropriate expertise in both areas provides the perfect

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group to make these decisions.

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They provide responsible and expert decisions on which vendors to

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engage, which services to enable and which capabilities utilize.

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It's important to establish organizational structure early

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on in any cloud transformation in order to prevent decision paralysis

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and make sure business objectives stay aligned with those decisions.

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And finally, number six, they manage external cloud relationships.

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Cloud centric organization will have many external cloud partners, providers,

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vendors, and other external parties that they need to coordinate with.

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The CCoE is a natural place to coordinate these relationships.

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Whether it's being the primary contact for vendors or attending meetups with

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partners, or championing company cloud progress with partners and customers.

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The CCoE's unique combination of cloud and corporate knowledge

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provides the experience necessary to manage these relationships.

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Having a centralized team in control of these relationships ensures that

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there is always someone within your organization that knows how these

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outside vendors work, what they offer, and when they should be used.

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So how do CCoEs fit into modern it organizations?

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In most cases, they report to either the CIO or the head of engineering.

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This allows them to work closely with other key parts of the

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organization, such as application development teams, operations teams.

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And of course the security team.

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By having a centralized unit that is responsible for all things cloud the CCO

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helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals.

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A cloud center of excellence can be an extremely valuable asset for an

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organization looking to move to the cloud.

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While any organization can benefit from the structure, the larger the

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organization and the more significant the cloud transformation, the greater

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the benefits the CCoE can bring.

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CCoEs, provide a wide range of benefits.

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It can help your organization through the web of complexity involved in a