What is a Cloud Center of Excellence and Why You Should Care?

As the adoption of cloud computing grows, focusing on operational excellence in the cloud is a must for enterprises.

Gartner expects the public cloud market to cross the $300 billion mark by 2022, further showing the importance of the cloud in enterprises. However, it’s not all roses as the numbers suggest.

The projections for the public cloud market from 2018-2022 (image source)

Lack of efficiency and resource wastage is still a problem in many enterprises. Every year, $62 billion goes to waste as a result of poor cloud utilization, mainly due to bloated architecture, overprovisioning, and paying for unnecessary performance boosts.

This is expected, however, as cloud computing is relatively new compared to other technologies. Hence, enterprises must take proactive steps in keeping their cloud operations as streamlined and efficient as possible.

One way to achieve that is by developing a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE).

What is a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)?

A CCoE is a team responsible for:

  • Developing a framework for cloud operations

  • Governing the IT and cloud infrastructure

  • Implementing cloud best practices throughout the business

Although organizations can manage their architecture without one, it’s much better to have a dedicated team to do so instead of relying on team members who may not have sufficient experience with the cloud.

Think of it as a new, dedicated department in your business. Managing a cloud infrastructure without a CCoE is akin to asking engineers to handle the balance sheets—it’s inefficient and risky.

Aside from management, a CCoE works to implement best practices and improve efficiency wherever possible. It also takes into account the organization’s goals and culture to ensure that the cloud infrastructure will always meet the company’s expectations.

Identifying trends and opportunities in cloud computing is another reason to adopt a CCoE. Keeping up with rapidly advancing technology is one of the key challenges for businesses today. With a CCoE, businesses stay one step ahead of the competition by adopting innovative cloud practices quicker than their peers in the industry.

Benefits of a CCoE to cloud management and optimization

The greatest advantage of a CCoE is the ability for enterprises to realize the full potential of the cloud as it eases the execution of cloud migration strategies.

The center provides answers to many of the common concerns in migrating to the cloud.

Are they considering re-platforming? Is the lift and shift strategy better instead? What must be done to the original data while migrating?

A CCoE can readily answer these questions so businesses can clearly identify the approach they’re taking in moving workloads to the cloud. This makes the migration process smoother and more successful.

A CCoE is also dedicated to handling the entire cloud computing life cycle—from designing the ecosystem, managing security, to ensuring compliance. This gives enterprises the structure they need to make faster, more informed decisions for their cloud ecosystem.

Since the center focuses on implementing best practices to achieve operational excellence, enterprises can expect to see noticeable savings, especially in transition costs from moving to the cloud as well as their average cloud spend.

What are the steps needed in building a CCoE?

The most important aspect of a CCoE is having the right team.

William Orban, general manager of AWS, recommends building a core team of three to five members regardless of the industry or size of the business. Ideally, the team should be composed of individuals with varying expertise e.g. developers, system administrators, and network engineers.

Non-tech roles also play a part as the center must be able to strike a balance between performance and cost. The best DevOps teams can deliver value to their organization’s operations while maintaining cost-efficiency—a CCoE needs to emulate this.

As the cloud is constantly evolving, businesses should look for individuals who are open-minded and willing to embrace change rapidly. Being aware of cloud computing trends is an advantage. Team members should also be adept enough to implement their findings in the organization’s processes.

Establishing the scope of responsibilities for a CCoE is the next piece of the puzzle.

By defining its responsibilities, businesses can streamline the work of the center and significantly improve productivity because team members know their tasks. Organizations struggling to define the responsibilities of their CCoE should consider using methodologies like Agile.

The scope of work for a CCoE will expand as the infrastructure matures. Therefore, it’s vital for organizations to perform regular check-ins with team members to determine whether there’s a need to broaden the center’s responsibilities.

Some of the core tasks of a CCoE include:

  • Managing cloud governance

  • Defining and controlling authorization to access resources

  • Monitoring resource usage to keep costs low

  • Ensuring tight security across the environment

  • Rightsizing whenever necessary

  • Building performance reports for management and other related departments

Finally, a successful CCoE comes from empowering team members to communicate and implement best practices throughout the organization. Any suggestions made by the center must be supported by higher-ups instead of relying on bureaucracy to greenlight decisions.

Other departments in the company must be trained on CCoE methods to help them understand why the center is important to their work. Trying out new ideas and concepts in the cloud should also be encouraged across the team.

How a visual cloud management platform can help support the goals of the CCoE

A CCoE will not be able to achieve its goals without the right tools. One of the best solutions your organization can invest in to empower your CCoE team is a visual cloud management platform.

A cloud visualization platform like Cloudivize gives team members the visibility they need to carry out their tasks by visualizing relationships between every AWS resource. This helps your CCoE team to fully grasp your cloud infrastructure just by looking at it via the visual view.

Your CCoE can improve communication with other departments in the company by using the visual view provided by Cloudivize, ensuring that all sides at this communication are seeing the organization cloud infrastructure at full complete view, without missing important details and without using different unsynchronized tools.

With Cloudivize, your CCoE team gains confidence in making informed decisions as well as identifying key areas to be improved in your organization’s cloud infrastructure.

Cloudivize also enables enterprises to track each AWS asset’s usage and performance metrics. This makes it easier for the center to optimize your cloud spend.

Request a demo today to find out how Cloudivize can elevate your organization’s CCoE to the next level.

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