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Is it a Cloud Center of Excellence?

About 3 years ago we started building our own 45 Degrees approach to setting up and running a Cloud Centre of Excellence.  The world was a very different place then.  Most enterprises were having their first proof of concepts with Cloud technology, pushed by Cloud providers to get consumption as fast as possible.  IT-marketeers said that in a couple of years they would be fully Cloud based and data centres would be a thing of the past, if needed by means of lift and shift migration scenarios.  

But was it all that simple?
Of course not.

Turning around an enterprise IT-operation is a bit like turning around an oil tanker…  It’s a complex and time consuming process for most enterprises.  The list of challenges is long and some of these hurdles might even be close to impossible to overcome in a short period of time.  Just think of where you will find enough skilled Cloud engineering and architecture resources.  Or how you will re-skill your existing IT staff.  Of course all of that while keeping your current operations running smoothly.

Against that background we decided to create our own approach to a Cloud Center of Excellence.  We looked at the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google, spoke with our customers and came to the conclusion that what we needed is a framework for this Cloud transition.  A framework that offers guidance and at the same time “freedom within the frame” to be adaptive to the specific needs of each customer.

Recently during a conversation with a CIO, an interesting question came up: why is this still called a “Cloud” centre of excellence.  Cloud is not the goal as such, Cloud technology is the enabler for what really matters: a business transformation.  So why would you still call this a “Cloud” centre of excellence.  

One has to agree this is good feedback.  

What we are talking about is actually a transformation that is facilitated by Cloud technology.  While a CCoE is still a widely used term, maybe it’s time to start talking about a “transformation” centre of excellence.  A term which indeed covers the current enterprise business reality more adequately.

Another feedback we got is: “all these capabilities are valid, but are also needed in a ‘non-Cloud’ IT division”.  That’s also a valid observation.  And it’s not the “list of capabilities” that is what makes up the value of this framework.  It’s what is behind each label that is very different in a modern service oriented organisation, compared to a traditional IT setup.

As such, our framework is not static.  We keep learning from the day to day customer reality and we keep adapting the framework.  About once a year we do an update and this summer was time for “version 3”.  Learn what we have been doing in the next blogpost !

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Need some help or guidance on your transformation journey? We are happy to listen, and even more to help.