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ICYMI: Do you need a Cloud Center of Excellence?
Episode 2625th May 2023 • Modern Digital Business • Lee Atchison
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On this episode of Modern Digital Business, we explore the necessary transition to a digital business model and the challenges that come with it, specifically in the realm of cloud computing. As the leader in enterprise IT, it's important to adapt to newer, more flexible and scalable technologies. The solution? Establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence! We dive into the benefits of a CCoE and how it can help guide organizations towards a common goal. Tune in for expert insights, actionable recommendations, and in-depth interviews on transitioning to the cloud in a modern digital business.

Topic: Cloud Computing in Enterprise IT

- Dominance of cloud computing in recent years

- Benefits of cloud computing (lower costs, flexibility, scalability)

- Challenge of transforming to a cloud-native organization

Topic: Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)

- Definition and benefits of CCoE

- Organizational structure and responsibilities of CCoE

- Cooperation with other key parts of the organization

- Importance of CCoE for cloud transformation


1. What is cloud computing, and why has it become so popular in enterprise IT?

Answer: Cloud computing is a model in which computing resources—such as servers, storage, and applications—are delivered over the internet. It has become popular because it offers benefits in lower costs, greater flexibility, and scalability.


2. What are some of the challenges organizations face when transitioning from on-premise operations to cloud-based operations?

Answer: Some of the challenges include adapting to new technologies, retraining staff, and reconfiguring infrastructure. Organizations may also encounter cultural barriers as people are resistant to change.


3. What is a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE), and how can it help organizations overcome these challenges?

Answer: A CCoE is an organizational structure that provides guidance, support, and best practices for cloud adoption. It can help organizations accelerate their cloud transformation while ensuring everyone is working towards common goals.


4. Who typically leads a CCoE, and whom does it report to?

Answer: A CCoE is typically led by the CIO or engineering head and reports to senior leadership.


5. What are some of the key responsibilities of a CCoE?

Answer: The CCoE is responsible for providing guidance and support for cloud adoption, managing relationships with external cloud providers, establishing best practices, and ensuring compliance with security and governance requirements.


6. How does a CCoE work with other parts of the organization?

Answer: The CCoE works closely with application development, operations, and security teams to ensure everyone is aligned and working towards common goals.


7. What are some benefits of having a CCoE for a cloud transformation?

Answer: Some benefits include faster time to market, greater operational efficiency, reduced costs, improved security, and greater flexibility.


8. What are some common misconceptions about cloud computing?

Answer: Some common misconceptions include that it is always cheaper, that it is less secure than on-premise operations, and that it is not suitable for all types of businesses.


9. How can organizations ensure a successful cloud transformation?

Answer: By establishing a strong cloud strategy, leveraging a CCoE or other similar structure, training staff, and communicating effectively.


10. What future trends can we expect to see in cloud computing?

Answer: We can expect to see continued growth in cloud adoption, increased use of hybrid cloud models, greater focus on edge computing, and increased emphasis on security and compliance.


Today on Modern Digital Business

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Thank you for listening, and welcome to the modern world of the 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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Mentioned in this episode:

Business Breakthrough 3.0

With a combined 60 years of business and technology experience, experts Lee Atchison and Ken Gavranovic provide a no-nonsense, step-by-step methodology to clarify how your company actually operates in order to uncover the entrenched patterns that are holding you back. They explain that leading by gut instinct will keep you spinning in circles, while putting your key business data to work will help you grow a thriving organization. Based on the author's experience working with hundreds of leaders around the world, the Business Breakthrough 3.0 approach not only leverages the universal motivational drivers embedded in every person, but uses data to identify what's working and what's not within your company. Business Breakthrough 3.0 involves five distinct processes: 1. Establishing and actively embracing a company mission, vision, and set of core values 2. Using a formal critical-thinking framework to organize how your company makes decisions 3. Understanding what to measure and knowing how to use the data correctly Optimizing your organizational structure to drive successful actions 5. Leveraging a market growth strategy for sales success. Business Breakthrough 3.0 is the ultimate guide to overcoming entrenched patterns and building a highly profitable organization that attracts and retains people who truly love their jobs.

Business Breakthrough 3.0

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.

Courses by Lee Atchison

Transcripts

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

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enterprise It, but the challenge of transforming

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your organization from an onpremise company to

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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. Want to

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learn more? Okay, let's go.

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This is the Modern Digital Business Podcast, the technical

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leader's guide to modernizing your applications and digital business.

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Whether you're a business technology leader or a small business innovator,

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keeping up with the digital business revolution is a must. Here to

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help make it easier with actionable insights and recommendations,

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as well as thoughtful interviews with industry experts.

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Lee Atchison in the past few

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years, cloud computing has become a dominant trend in enterprise It.

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

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flexibility, and scalability. But as more

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companies move their infrastructure into public clouds like AWS or

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Azure, they face a challenge that is often overlooked.

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How do I transform an organization from a typical on premise

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company to a cloud native, cloud centric organization?

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A Cloud Center of Excellence, or CCoE for short,

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is an organizational entity that has emerged as

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a driving influence, enabling the cloud native transformation to accelerate.

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As cloudbased applications become ubiquitous and

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cloud adoption rates continue to grow, CCOEs are becoming

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more prevalent in many modern organizations. But what does

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a Cloud Center of Excellence actually look like and

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how do they assist in your organization's transformation?

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Well, there are as many ways to construct a CCoE

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as there are ways to construct an It department.

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At its core, the CCoE is an organizational

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structure that is designed to accelerate the adoption

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and institution of cloud products,

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cloud principles, and cloud mindset into an organization.

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They are designed to be the beacon that helps drive an organization

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to become a cloud native organization.

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To understand how they can help drive an organization to cloud success,

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here are six ways a Cloud Center of Excellence can be

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a helpful tool in your organization's cloud journey.

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First, they provide best practices and provide

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an example for the organization to follow.

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The CCoE is designed to be a beacon for becoming

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cloud centric and is sought out by other business units

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and project teams. CCoE's represent an example of

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how to operate in a cloud centric world using cloud

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native tools. The CCoE

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is responsible for creating,

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articulating, championing,

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and documenting best practices for the rest of the organization to

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follow. As an organizationwide

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standard, they point the organization in the right direction

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and helps prevent some of the common errors

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and pitfalls from being repeated by every single

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group in the organization. As the owner of best practices

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and their requirements, they engage the organization

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and drive the adoption of these best practices within

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their organizations. Leading by example and

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acting the role of the organizational respected leaders is

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critical for cloud success. Besides cloud

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specific processes, CCOEs provide best

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practices in a variety of other related areas,

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including providing standardized coding practices,

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tool usage, and use of specific development

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methodologies and practices. This includes

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concepts such as enabling microservice architectures,

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use of CI CD pipelines, and leveraging DevOps best

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practices. It's important that

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these best practices are championed by someone able to

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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

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teams. In order to be

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successful in a cloud centric world, your teams must be knowledgeable

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and experienced in all aspects of using the cloud.

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This means cloud training, but what training

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does your organization require? Well, the CCoE is

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responsible for facilitating the training requirements for your entire organization

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in all things cloud related. These trainings can be

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created and directed by the CCoE team members that are evaluating

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cloud related products, services and systems. Or they

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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, the CCoE is

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responsible for providing the cloud training requirements

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for the entire organization. Third, they create

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tooling and standards for the organization. A common

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and serious problem facing any organization going through

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a major restructure is how do they create the tools

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and implement standards necessary to thrive in their

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new reality? A cloud centric restructuring

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is no exception.

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Basic cloud needs must be provided in clear and consistent

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ways. 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

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production environments? What setups are needed

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by development engineers to build and deploy cloud

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services? How do you tag cloud

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resources so you know who is using them?

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How do you determine what resources should be implemented and

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who makes those decisions? Can you use this

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brand new cloud service? What settings of

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this service are appropriate? Should I use this feature or

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capability of this service? How do you deploy this

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service in a standard way across the organization?

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And how do you handle monitoring, logging and analytics

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from the cloud services? How do you set up security settings

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in the cloud to meet the needs of your organization's, security team

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and business needs? How do you incorporate the cloud changes

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into assisting and driving your other corporate initiatives such

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as, for instance, DevOps standard setups

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can ease the cloud efforts of other groups in the organization

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as well as ensure appropriate and consistent practices.

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The CCoE can lead the setup of these tools

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and standards, leading to improved overall organizational

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cloud enablement and consistent behaviors and

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practices across the entire organization.

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Fourth, they provide subject matter expertise to

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upper management. When an organization undergoes a transformation

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to a cloud centric organization, they often face difficult

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organizational level decisions. Upper management

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needs information and expertise in 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

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that can provide expert guidance and direction on

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cloud best practices. By using their

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expertise to assist upper management, they help promote widespread

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adoption across the entire organization.

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Fifth, CCoE's make, buy, make and other

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decisions for the company on the cloud.

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An organization needs to make many decisions about which cloud capabilities

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to use, which cloud providers to use,

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and how to use them. Should we build a

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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

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both expert in the cloud as well as expert in

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the internal needs of the organization and their applications.

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The CCoE, with the appropriate expertise in both areas,

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provides the perfect group to make these decisions.

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They provide responsible and expert decisions on

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which vendors to engage, which services to enable,

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and which capabilities to 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

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paralysis and make sure business objectives stay aligned

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with those decisions. And finally,

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number six, they manage external cloud relationships.

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A cloud centric organization will have many external cloud partners,

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providers, vendors, and other external parties

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that they need to coordinate with. The CCoE

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is a natural place to coordinate these relationships,

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whether it's being the primary contact for vendors or attending

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meetups with partners or championing company cloud

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progress with partners and customers,

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the CCoE's unique combination of cloud and

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corporate knowledge provides the experience necessary to

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manage these relationships. Having a

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centralized team in control of these relationships ensures

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that there is always someone within your organization that

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knows how these outside vendors work,

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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

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the head of engineering. This allows them to work closely

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with other key parts of the organization, such as application development

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teams, operations teams, and of course, the security

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team. By having a centralized unit

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that is responsible for all things cloud, the CCoE

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

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common goals. A cloud center of excellence

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can be an extremely valuable asset for an organization looking to

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move to the cloud. While any organization can benefit from

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the structure, the larger the organization and the more significant

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the cloud transformation, the greater the benefits

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the CCoE can bring.

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CCOEs provide a wide range of benefits and

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can help your organization through the web of complexity involved

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in a typical cloud adoption transformation.

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Thank you for tuning in to Modern Digital Business.

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This podcast exists because of the support of you,

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my listeners. If you enjoy what you hear, will you please leave a review on

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Apple podcasts or directly on our website at MDB

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FM Reviews. If you'd like to suggest a topic

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for an episode or you are interested in becoming a guest,

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please contact me directly by sending me a message at MDB

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fmcontact and if you'd like to record

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a quick question or comment, click the microphone icon in the

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lower right hand corner of our website. Your recording might be

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featured on a future episode. Make sure you get

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every new episode when they become available. Click subscribe

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in your favorite podcast player or check out our website at

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MDB FM. If you want to learn more from me,

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then check out one of my books, courses or articles by going

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to Lee Atchison.com and all of these links are

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included in the show. Notes thank you for listening and welcome

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to the world of the modern digital business.

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