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Why we designed our own approach to a Cloud Center of Excellence

All of the technology is a means to an end. (Jack Holzman)

The big cloud providers are not only investing to keep their technology (cloud) stack up to date.  They are equally investing a lot of time in “adoption frameworks”.  There are pages and pages of documentation available, for free.  They have free tools for part of the journey.  By all means: take advantage of them!  But …  to setup a Cloud Center of Excellence, we have designed our own framework.  Why did we do that?

For cloud providers, the cloud is the “end game”

The cloud is never the purpose of your transformation.  The purpose is to grow your business.  For which in these times a profound transformation is often needed.  This transformation is supported by technology like cloud technology.  This technology enables business changes faster, cheaper and more flexible.  For the cloud providers, the intend is to get customer as fast as possible to their cloud.  Consumption is what is generating the money.  No matter what the question is, the answer will be “cloud”.  That is not true in an enterprise business reality.  The goal for a customer is to optimize their business.  Sometimes cloud technology will be the way to go.  But sometimes not.  Therefore we prefer to speak of a “transformation center of excellence”.  We are not picky, we’re happy with cloud center of excellence as well.  As a customer you just need to be aware the cloud will not always be the answer to any question.  The framework is still very valuable to have and use, regardless of the supporting technology.

Multi-Cloud strategy?

As an SMB business in most cases it makes sense to stick with one cloud provider.  Some of our larger enterprise customers also choose for one cloud provider.  But sometimes, depending on the business need, it might make sense to choose a different provider for a specific solution.  Not for the sake of “avoiding a lock-in”.  Rather because there are sometimes real technology reasons to go for a specific cloud solution.  Having your own, vendor independent framework has a great added value in these scenarios.

We wanted a framework, not a roadmap

Take Microsoft as an example. The Cloud Adoption Framework is represented as a roadmap.  You start with strategy, then you plan, you get yourself ready, you migrate or innovate.  Along the way you apply the governance and management and you align your organisation.  While we are talking about a transformation journey it’s misleading to present the framework as a roadmap.  Every customer situation is different, and we don’t see a “one size fits all” approach, starting at one point and move in pre-defined steps.  We see a lot of capabilities that must be put in place to put structure behind a transformation.  Our 45 Degrees framework is rather a checklist than a roadmap.

A center of excellence is there to stay

Traditional IT departments were often organised into something like: Development, Infrastructure and Operations.    With or without a partnership with the business side, running as silos next to each other.  Agile businesses are not run like this.  Whether you look at it from an IT or a business perspective.  A center of excellence is the catalyst to drive this type of agile business.  It’s not a temporary solution to “move to something”.  It’s a foundation for the future, a framework to stay.

Do you want to learn more about the 45 Degrees approach to a Center of Excellence ? Read more here.

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