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Building a Modern Services Oriented Organization – Part 2

In the first part of this mini blog series we explored why cloud technology is not just another technology shift. It’s an opportunity to change the role of the traditional IT team.  The way Microsoft is visualizing this is by introducing a paradigm shift. From a traditional view of IT as an operations unit to an enabling function.  Business units can organize themselves in one shape or form of product teams, with a significant degree of freedom and with delegated responsibility, while adhering to a set of guidelines and established controls.  But how is that done in a large, complex enterprise environment ?

Don’t copy the “Spotify model”

When looking at the model of companies like Spotify, we typically only look at the tip of the iceberg.  We consider how they are organized and how they are orchestrating all of that.  What we don’t see is what is below the waterline.  A very specific culture with a very specific business model. The  hidden part is very different in existing enterprise organizations.  These have an existing operating and associated organization model.  One that has been there for years.  They didn’t start from a greenfield when cloud technology adoption came to the table.  They have an operational workforce, with the inherent skills gap challenges when it comes to cloud technology.  Further, they have a complex IT landscape. Think of their existing IT infrastructure which supports a large business.  Stopping the business for a technology transformation is obviously not an option.  Our enterprise customers will typically always be in a hybrid state for a certain period of time.  A hybrid state from a technology point of view, but what does this mean from an organizational point of view?

How do I fit a Cloud Center of Excellence into my organization?

A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) approach gives companies a framework to drive their cloud journey.  In essence, whatever CCoE approach you are using, it’s a set of capabilities which will need to be addressed.  When you just look at the “labels” of the capabilities, most of those are also existing in a traditional organization.  Be it with a different flavor.  The key question for a traditional IT organization in a large enterprise is: how do I fill in these cloud capabilities in my current structure?  Do you put a cloud solution next to the existing one?  We see this approach with customers that have outsourced important parts of the traditional IT operations.  The “old” model can slowly be replaced by a cloud model.  A new organization is being ramped up, and at some point the contract with the outsourcer can be stopped.  But when significant parts of the current IT organization are not outsourced, this scenario is less trivial.  In those cases we see a blended model to be more appropriate.  The exact outcome will be different by customer.  But the building blocks, concepts and operating models behind it are something most customers have in common.

In the third post of this mini-series, we will go more in detail about what those “common things” are and propose a model of a modern service oriented organization.  A model which is a pragmatic translation of the roundabout explained above.

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