Cloud economics is crucial for an organization to make the most out of their cloud solutions, and business leaders need to prioritize shifting their company culture to embrace accountability and trackability.
When leaders hear the phrase “cloud economics,” they think about budgeting and controlling costs. Cost management is an element of cloud economics, but it is not the entire equation. In order for cloud economics to be implemented in a beneficial way, organizations must realize that cloud economics is not a budgetary practice, but rather an organizational culture shift.
The very definition of “economics” indicates that the study is more than just a numbers game. Economics is “a science concerned with the process or system by which goods and services are produced, sold, and bought.” The practice of economics involves a whole “process or system” where actors and actions are considered and accounted for.
With this definition in mind, cloud economics means that companies are required to look at key players and behaviors when evaluating their cloud environment in order to maximize the business value of their cloud.
Once an organization has fully embraced the study of cloud economics, it will be able to gain insight into which departments are utilizing the cloud, what applications and workloads are utilizing the cloud, and how all of these moving parts contribute to greater business goals. Embodying transparency and trackability enables teams to work together in a harmonious way to control their cloud infrastructure and prove the true business benefits of the cloud.
If business leaders want to apply cloud economics to their organizations, they must go beyond calculating cloud costs. They will need to promote a culture of cross-functional collaboration and honest accountability. Leadership should prioritize and facilitate the joint efforts of cloud architects, cloud operations, developers, and the sourcing team.
Cloud economics will encourage communication, collaboration, and change in culture, which will have the added benefit of cloud cost management and cloud business success.
Where do companies lose control of their cloud costs?
When companies lose control of cloud costs, the business value of the cloud disappears as well. If the cloud is overspending and there is no business value to show for, how are leaders supposed to feel good about their cloud infrastructure? Going over budget with no benefits would not be a sound business case for any enterprise in any industry.
Out-of-control cloud spending is quite easy, and it usually boils down to poor business decisions that come from leadership. Company leaders should first recognize that they wield the power to manage cloud costs and foster communication between teams. If they are making poor business decisions, like prioritizing speedy delivery over well-written code or not promoting transparency, then they are allowing practices that negatively impact cloud costs.
When leaders push their teams to be fast rather than thorough, it creates technical debt and tension between teams. The following sub-optimal practices can happen when leadership is not prioritizing cloud cost optimizations:
Developers ignore seemingly small administrative tasks that are actually immensely important and consequential, like rightsizing infrastructure or turning off inactive applications.
Architects select suboptimal designs that are easier and faster to run but are more expensive to implement.
Developers use inefficient code and crude algorithms in order to ship a feature faster, but then fail to consider performance optimizations to execute less resource consumption.
Developers forgo deployment automation that would help to automatically rightsize.
Developers build code that isn’t inherently cloud-native, and therefore not cloud-optimized.
Finance and procurement teams are only looking at the bottom line and don’t fully understand why the cloud bill is so high, therefore, creating tension between IT/dev and finance/procurement.
When these actions compound, it leads to an infrastructure mess that is incredibly difficult to clean up. Poorly implemented bad designs that are not easily scalable will require a significant amount of development time; therefore, leaving companies with inefficient cloud infrastructure and preposterously high cloud costs.
Furthermore, these high and unexplained cloud bills cause rifts between teams and are detrimental to collaboration efforts. Lack of accountability and visibility causes developer and finance teams to have misaligned business objectives.
Poor cloud governance and culture are derived from leadership’s misguided business decisions and muddled planning. If leaders don’t prioritize cloud cost optimization through cloud economics, the business value of the cloud is diminished and company collaboration will suffer. Developers and architects will continue to execute processes that create high cloud costs, and finance and procurement teams will forever be at odds with the IT team.
What are the benefits of cloud economics?
Below are a few common business pitfalls that leaders can easily address if they embrace the practice of cloud economics:
Decentralized Costs and Budgets Knowing budgets may seem obvious, but more often than not, leaders don’t even know what they are spending on the cloud. This is usually due to siloed department budgets and a lack of disclosure. Cloud economics requires leaders to create visibility into their cloud spend and open channels of communication about allocation, budgeting, and forecasting.
Lack of Planning and Unanticipated Usage
If organizations don’t plan, then they will end up over-utilizing the cloud. Failing to forecast or proactively budget cloud resources will lead to using too many unnecessary and/or unused resources. With cloud economics, leaders are responsible for strategies, systems, and internal communications to connect cloud costs with business goals.
This issue is a culmination of other problems. If business leaders are unsure of what they are doing in the cloud, they are less willing to commit to long-term cloud contracts. Unwillingness to commit to contracts is a missed opportunity for business leaders because long-term engagements are more cost-friendly. Once leaders have implemented cloud economics to inspire confidence in their cloud infrastructure, they can assertively evaluate purchasing options in the most cost-effective way.
What are the steps to creating a culture around cloud economics?
Cloud economics is a study that goes beyond calculating and cutting costs. It is a company culture that is a cross-functional effort. Though it seems like a significant undertaking, the steps to get started are quite manageable. Below is a high-level plan that business leaders must take charge of to create a culture around prioritizing cloud economics:
Stage one consists of lots of data collecting and understanding of the current cloud situation. Company leaders will need to know what the trust costs of the cloud are before they can proceed forward. Creating visibility around the current state is also the first step to creating a culture of communication and transparency amongst teams and stakeholders.
Once the baseline is understood, leadership can analyze the data in order to optimize cloud costs. The visibility of the current state is crucial for teams and leadership to understand what they are working with and how they can optimize it. This stage is where a lot of conversations happen amongst teams to come up with an optimization action plan. It requires teams and stakeholders to communicate and work together, which ultimately builds trust among each other.
Finally, the data analysis and learnings can be implemented. With the optimization action plan, leaders should know what areas of the cloud demand optimization first and how to optimize these areas. At this point in the process, teams and stakeholders are comfortable with cross-collaboration and honest communications amongst each other. This opens up a transparent feedback loop that is necessary for continuous improvement.
The entire organization stands to gain when cloud economics is prioritized. A cost-efficient cloud infrastructure will lead to improved productivity, cross-functional collaboration between teams, and focused efforts towards greater business objectives.
When it comes to cloud economics and optimization, 2nd Watch is the go-to partner for enterprise-level services and support. Our team of experts and cloud-accredited professionals help businesses plan, analyze, and recommend strategies to create a culture of cloud economics and accountability. Control cloud costs and maximize the business value of your cloud today by contacting a 2nd Watch cloud expert.
Mary Fellows | Director of Cloud Economics at 2ND Watch
The “Great Resignation” was coined during the pandemic to define the trend of people choosing to leave their jobs in search of better opportunities. Also referred to as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, 47 million Americans left their jobs in 2021, the most resignations on record. As of 2022, these rates continue to set records and show no signs of slowing down. For the IT industry, the Great Resignation is compounded by a much longer talent gap that has increased wage expectations in a small pool of qualified candidates.
Every time you open LinkedIn you confront messages from recruiters trying to lure you away from your current employer, or at the very least, have viewed your profile on multiple occasions. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with employees advancing their careers or finding new and better opportunities, employers are struggling to maintain business operations, budgets, and long-term growth goals. The fear of losing skilled engineering team members is something that keeps CTOs up at night.
Of course, every business would love a bottomless budget to entice capable technicians to both join the company, and stay there, but that’s not typically the case. In this article, I’m introducing the alternative solution of Managed Cloud Services (MCS). By partnering with trusted and experienced cloud experts, organizations can utilize their skills and services a la carte, without facing the costs of a full-time employee. Keep reading to see how MCS can be used to alleviate long-term shortages and help companies grow from the inside out.
Keeping Up with the Digital Transformation
Public cloud vendors seem to come up with a new service, feature, or enhancement every 16.47 seconds, and maintaining a team to keep up with everything is an ongoing struggle by itself. Now factor in employee turnover. Just when you have fully trained your team and they are humming along, operating like a well-oiled machine, a few decide to leave, and your productivity comes to a screeching halt. Immediately, you must create job requisitions, schedule interviews, and negotiate salaries. That alone can be quite a feat with the talent gap in IT creating high competition for qualified candidates.
At the end of 2021, Gartner named talent shortages as the biggest barrier to emerging technologies adoption. So not only is it hard to find good team members, but if you’re unable to attract the professionals required for business achievement, it could cost you in the market. As your competitors move ahead at an accelerated speed thanks to the automation and innovation of today’s technology, your business could be on a downward trajectory in comparison.
Hiring is One Thing; Maintaining Employees is Another
Once a company can hire the right employee, they must provide training and impart knowledge share to bring them up to speed to fulfill their responsibilities successfully. This process requires existing team members to stop what they’re doing and provide the training required. That slows productivity, costs resources, and distracts techs from larger business goals. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is, that as soon as the new team is back up to full productivity, someone else decides to leave. The process repeats itself in a never-ending cycle of rinse and repeat.
When a resignation occurs, not only is there a significant loss of knowledge, especially if an employee has been with the company for a substantial amount of time but cost structure can be severely affected. Turnover is unpredictable and sometimes inevitable if the business is unable or unwilling to provide the salary, benefits, environment, etc. desired by your talent pool. Without the ability to properly forecast the costs of hiring, turnover can compromise your business objectives quickly.
The highly skilled cloud engineers’ business wants and needs are hard to come by in general, and maintaining a team of them only compounds the issue. In addition to labor costs, businesses also must consider tooling expenses for things like monitoring, patching, ticketing, alerting, code repositories, security, databases, and the list goes on and on. If you’re feeling inundated with these concerns, know that you’re not alone, and there is a way off the hamster wheel.
Do These Issues Sound Familiar?
We’re paying a fortune for cloud engineers and developers who are constantly troubleshooting and fixing issues with the cloud itself. We need them to be able to focus on developing applications that will drive our business forward.
We had a middle of the night outage that went unnoticed, shut our business down for several hours, and we lost hundreds of thousands of dollars – all because we didn’t realize we were down until the next morning.
Our only database administrator just left for another opportunity, and we have no one to administer our database.
We’ve been modernizing our cloud deployment and greatly increasing our application performance by moving into containers, serverless, and CI/CD pipeline deployment. Our main DevOps engineer just left, and our Windows/Linux admins don’t have the right skill set to operate our constant code deployment.
A malicious hacker was able to breach our security with a DDoS attack that brought down our main revenue-generating website without us knowing.
My lead cloud engineer just left for another company, and I have no idea what Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 even mean, let alone how to create an AWS account, what am I going to do?
Managed Cloud Services: The “Employee” You’ve Been Searching For
Managed Cloud Services (MCS) can alleviate many of these concerns and allow your team to focus on what is most important – running your business. No matter where you are in your cloud journey, a MCS provider monitors and maintains your environment to relieve IT teams from day-to-day cloud operations. If you are utilizing more traditional services, like infrastructure as a service (IaaS), experienced MCS providers can take over the burden of “day 2” operations – including monitoring, patching, security, database administration, reporting, monolith applications, and remediation. If your environment utilizes advanced features, such as serverless, containers, and infrastructure as code, and operates in more of a DevOps type of model, MCS can cover that as well.
Not only are these daily tasks taken off your plate, but by outsourcing your cloud management to an MCS provider, they take on the responsibility of ensuring resource availability. Now, instead of your company carrying the cost of finding, attracting, negotiating, hiring, training, and maintaining all of these employees – much of it is done for you. Learn more about how MCS can help your organization stay competitive in, Managed Cloud Services: Optimize, Reduce Costs, and Efficiently Achieve Your Business Goals.
Day 2 IT Operations and Beyond with 2nd Watch
2nd Watch provides a variety of MCS with dedicated and designated resources that partner directly with businesses to not only understand your cloud environment but to understand your business requirements as well. We operate your managed services using a holistic approach to cloud management leveraging both cloud native technology and architectures as well as best in breed customized management tools. 2nd Watch partners get a 24/7 year-round service delivery manager and committed engineering team to work collaboratively for goal achievement. We have found this comprehensive method, combined with intense knowledge sharing during employee onboarding, provides a seamless experience for our managed clients. If resignation and turnover are obstacles to achieving your business outcomes, see how 2nd Watch service offerings can help. Contact us to take the next step in your cloud journey.
-By Jeff Collins | Solutions Management, Managed Cloud Services
Cloud adoption is becoming more popular across all industries, as it has proven to be reliable, efficient, and more secure as a software service. As cloud adoption increases, companies are faced with the issue of managing these new environments and their operations, ultimately impacting day-to-day business operations. Not only are IT professionals faced with the challenge of juggling their everyday work activities with managing their company’s cloud platforms but must do so in an timely, cost-efficient manner. Often, this requires hiring and training additional IT people—resources that are getting more and more difficult to find.
Managing your cloud operations on your own can seem like a daunting, tedious task that distracts from strategic business goals. A cloud managed service provider (MSP) monitors and maintains your cloud environments relieving IT from the day-to-day cloud operations, ensuring your business operates efficiently. This is not to say IT professionals are incapable of performing these responsibilities, but rather, outsourcing allows the IT professionals within your company to concentrate on the strategic operations of the business. In other words, you do what you do best, and the service provider takes care of the rest.
The alternative to an MSP is hiring and developing within your company the expertise necessary to keep up with the rapidly evolving cloud environment and cloud native technologies. Doing it yourself factors in a hiring process, training, and payroll costs.
While possible, maintaining your cloud environments internally might not be the most feasible option in the long run. Additionally, a private cloud environment can be costly and requires your applications are handled internally. Migrating to the public cloud or adopting hybrid cloud model allows companies flexibility, as they allow a service provider either partial or full control of their network infrastructure.
What are Managed Cloud Services?
Managed cloud services are the IT functions you give your service provider to handle, while still allowing you to handle the functions you want. Some examples of the management that service providers offer include:
Managed cloud database: A managed database puts some of your company’s most valuable assets and information into the hands of a complete team of experienced Database Administrators (DBAs). DBAs are available 24/7/365 to perform tasks such as database health monitoring, database user management, capacity planning and management, etc.
Managed cloud security services: The public cloud has many benefits, but with it also comes security risks. Security management is another important MSP service to consider for your business. A cloud managed service provider can prevent and detect security threats before they occur, while fully optimizing the benefits provided by a cloud environment.
Managed cloud optimization: The cloud can be costly, but only as costly as you allow it to be. An MSP can optimize cloud spend through consulting, implementation, tools, reporting services, and remediation.
Managed governance & compliance: Without proper governance, your organization can be exposed to security vulnerabilities. Should a disaster occur within your business, such as a cyberattack on a data center, MSPs offer disaster recovery services to minimize recovery downtime and data loss. A managed governance and compliance service with 2nd Watch helps your Chief Security and Compliance Officers maintain visibility and control over your public cloud environment to help achieve on-going, continuous compliance.
At 2nd Watch, our foundational services include a fully managed cloud environment with 24/7/365 support and industry leading SLAs. Our foundational services address the key needs to better manage spend, utilization, and operations.
What are the Benefits of a Cloud Managed Service Provider?
Using a Cloud Managed Service Provider comes with many benefits if you choose the right one.
Some of these benefits include, but are not limited to:
Cost savings: MSPs have experts that know how to efficiently utilize the cloud, so you get the most out of your resources while reducing cloud computing costs.
Increased data security: MSPs ensure proper safeguards are utilized while proactively monitoring and preventing potential threats to your security.
Increased employee production: With less time spent managing the cloud, your IT managers can focus on the strategic business operations.
24/7/365 management: Not only do MSPs take care of cloud management for you but do so 100% of the time.
Overall business improvement: When your cloud infrastructure is managed by a trusted cloud advisor, they can optimize your environments while simultaneously allowing time for you to focus on core business operations. They can also recommend cloud native solutions to further support the business agility required to compete.
Why Our Cloud Management Platform?
With cloud adoption increasing in popularity, choosing a managed cloud service provider to help with this process can be overwhelming. While there are many options, choosing one you can trust is important to the success of your business. 2nd Watch provides multi-cloud management across AWS, Azure, and GCP, and has a special emphasis of putting our customers before the cloud. Additionally, we use industry standard, cloud native tooling to prevent platform lock in.
The solutions we create at 2nd Watch are tailored to your business needs, creating a large and lasting impact on our clients. For example:
On average, 2nd Watch saves customers 41% more than if they managed the cloud themselves (based on customer data)
Customers experience increased efficiency in launching applications, adding an average 240 hours of productivity per year for your business
On average, we save customers 21% more than our competitors
2nd Watch helps customers at every step in their cloud journey, whether that’s cloud adoption or optimizing your current cloud environment to reduce costs. We can effectively manage your cloud, so you don’t have to. Contact us to get the most out of your cloud environment with a managed cloud service provider you can trust.
Cloud adoption throughout all industries has become incredibly pervasive in recent years. With cloud management as a relatively newer concept, business organizations may struggle to understand each aspect that is required to effectively run a cloud environment. One aspect that should be involved at every layer of the cloud is security, yet many organizations fail to implement a strong security system in their cloud until an attack happens and it is too late.
A cloud environment and the controls necessary to orchestrate a robust security and governance platform is not the same as your traditional on-premises environment.
The State of Cloud Security Today
As beneficial as the public cloud is for companies globally today, lack of security in the cloud can be a major issue. A report from Sophos indicated that iMost of these attacks are simply from misconfigurations of these organizations’ cloud security. Thus, the attacks can be prevented if configured and managed properly. Orca Security’s 2020 State of Public Cloud Security Report revealed that 80.7% of organizations have at least one neglected, internet-facing workload – meaning the OS is unsupported or unpatched. Attackers can use one small vulnerability as leverage to move across an organization, which is how most data breaches occur.
Managed cloud security services help lay a strong foundation for security in the cloud that is automated and continuous with 24/7 management. With constant management, threats and attacks are detected before they occur, and your business avoids the repercussions that come with security misconfigurations.
What are managed cloud security services?
Managed cloud security services provide security configurations, automation, 24/7 management, and reporting from an external cloud security provider. If an attack should occur, the result is downtime and the loss of money and data. Additionally, the lack of a well-rounded security system can lead to regulatory compliance challenges.
Monitoring and maintaining strong security requires continuous attention to be effective. Employing a managed security service gives businesses the protection they need while simultaneously providing IT departments with additional time to focus on other business concerns. Redirecting cybersecurity efforts to an external provider not only provides IT departments with flexibility, but also reduces costs compared to handling cybersecurity in house. Managing cybersecurity independently creates costs such as staffing, software licensing, hardware, implementation costs, and management costs. All the costs and management required for effective security can be overwhelming and managed security services takes the weight of maintaining the security of your data off your shoulders.
What are the benefits of using cloud security services?
Implementing strong cloud security may seem like an obvious choice for a business to make, but many businesses may not want to devote the time, resources, or money to building and maintaining a strong cybersecurity system. Investing your resources into cloud security is imperative for your business and pays off in the long run.
Five different benefits resulting from a strong cloud security system include:
Automation: Once your configurations have been set up, there is reduced reliance on human intervention. This minimizes time spent managing security while also reducing the risk for error.
Efficiency: Cloud services improve the security of your data and maintain regulatory compliance through timely patching and automated updates with less downtime.
Safety: Data is well-protected with cloud security due to 24/7 monitoring and real-time threat detection.
Proactive Defense: Threats are identified quickly and treated proactively in the cloud should an incident occur.
Cost-effective: The cloud requires a unique approach to security. While managed cloud security services can seem costly upfront, they prove to be worthwhile in the long run by utilizing expertise that may not be available in-house. Additionally, cloud security services will ensure the safety of your workloads and data, and prevent the costs associated with a data breach.
2nd Watch Managed Cloud Security
At 2nd Watch, we understand cloud security is important at every step of your cloud journey. 2nd Watch has a dedicated Managed Security Team that monitors your cloud environments 24/7/365, remediating vulnerabilities quickly. Rather than putting security on the backburner, we believe security is a pillar of business, and building it into the foundation of a company is important to meet evolving compliance needs in a cost-effective manner.
Companies just getting started in the cloud can rely on 2nd Watch to get security right for them the first time. Even for companies already established in the cloud, we can take an in-depth look at security and compliance maturity, existing capabilities, and growth trajectory to provide a prescriptive security roadmap. No matter where you are in your cloud journey, we ensure your security is well-integrated into your cloud environments.
At 2nd Watch we are with you from beginning to end, monitoring your security even after implementation. At a glance, our end-to-end services include:
Security Review: Ensures the proper safeguards are utilized for your multi-cloud environments with a single point of contact for your security needs. Our security assessment and remediation offering can reveal how your cloud security posture stacks up to industry standards such as CIS, GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, NIST, PCI DSS, and SOC 2.
Environment Monitoring: 24/7/365 multi-cloud monitoring protects against the most recent vulnerabilities.
Threat Analysis: Managed Reliability Operations Center (ROC) proactively analyzes and remediates potential threats.
Issue Resolution: Identified issues are quickly resolved providing enterprise class and proactive defense.
Other solutions we provide include:
Security should be integrated into every layer of your public cloud infrastructure. We can help you achieve that through our comprehensive suite of security services and a team of experts that cares about your success in the cloud. To learn more about our managed cloud security services, visit our Cloud, Compliance, Security, & Business Continuity page or talk to someone directly through our Contact Us page.
A cloud center of excellence (CCoE) is essential for successful, efficient, and effective cloud implementation across your organization. Although the strategies look different for each business, there are three areas of focus, and four phases of maturity within those areas, that are important markers for any CCoE.
1. Financial Management
As you move to the public cloud and begin accessing the innovation and agility offered, it comes with the potential for budget overruns. Without proper planning and inclusion of financial leaders, you may find you’re not only paying for datacenters, but you’re also racking up large, and growing, public cloud bills. Financial management needs to be centrally governed, but extremely deliberate because it touches hundreds of thousands of places across your organization.
You may think involving finance will be painful but brining all stakeholders to the table equally has proven highly effective. Over the last five years, there’s been a revolution in how finance can effectively engage in cloud and infrastructure management. This emerging model, guided by the CCoE, enables organizations to justify leveraging the cloud, not only based on agility and innovation, but also cost. Increasingly, organizations are achieving both better economics and gaining the ability to do things in the cloud that cannot be done inside datacenters.
To harness the power and scale possible in the cloud, you need to put standards and best practices in place. These often start around configuration – tagging policies, reference architectures, workloads, virtual machines, storage, and performance characteristics. Standardization is a prerequisite to repeatability and is the driving force behind gaining the best ROI from the cloud.
Today, we’re actually seeing that traditional application of the cloud does not yield the best economic benefits available. For decades, we accepted an architectural model where the operating system was central to the way we built, deployed, and managed applications. However, when you look beyond the operating system, whether it’s containers or the rich array of platform services available, you start to see new opportunities that aren’t available inside datacenters.
When you’re not consuming the capital expenditure for the infrastructure you have available to you, and you’re only consuming it when you need it, you can really start to unlock the power of the cloud. There are many more workloads available to take advantage of as well. The more you start to build cloud native, or cloud centric architecture, the more potential you have to maximize financial benefits.
3. Cloud Security and Compliance
Cloud speed is fast. Much faster than what’s possible in datacenters. Avoid a potentially fatal breach, data disruption, or noncompliance penalty with strict security and compliance practices. You should be confident in the tools you implement throughout your organization, especially where the cloud is being managed day to day and changes are being driven. With each change and new instance, make sure you’re following the CCoE recommendations with respect to industry, state, and federal compliance regulations.
4. Phase Cloud Maturity Model
CloudHealth put forward a cloud maturity model based on patterns observed in over 10,000 customer interactions in the cloud. Like a traditional maturity model, the bottom left represents immaturity in the cloud, and the upper right signifies high maturity. Within each of the three foundational areas – financial management, operations, and security and compliance – an organization needs to scale and mature through the following four phases.
Phase 1: Visibility
Maturity starts at the most basic level by gaining visibility into your current architecture. Visibility gives you the connective tissue necessary to make smart decisions – although it doesn’t actually make those decisions obvious to you. First, know what you’re running, why you’re running it, and the cost. Then, analyze how it aligns with your organization from a business perspective.
Phase 2: Optimization
The goal here is all around optimization within each of the three areas. In regards to financial management and operations, you need to size a workload appropriately to support demand, but without going over capacity. In the case of security, optimization is proactively monitoring all of the hundreds of thousands of changes that occur across the organization each day. The strategy and tools you use to optimize must be in accordance with the best practices in your standards and policies.
Phase 3: Governance and Automation
In this phase you’re moving away from just pushing out dashboards, notification alerts, or reports to stakeholders. Now, it’s about strategically monitoring for the ideal state of workloads and applications in your business services. How do you automate the outcomes you want? The goal is to keep it in the optimum state all the time, or nearly all the time, without manual tasks and the risks of human error.
Phase 4: Business Integration
This is the ultimate state where the cloud gets integrated with your enterprise dashboards and service catalogue, and everything is connected across the organization. You’re no longer focused on the destination of the cloud. Instead, the cloud is just part of how you transact business.
As you move through each phase, establish measurements of cloud maturity using KPIs and simple metrics. Enlist the help of a partner like 2nd Watch that can provide expertise, automation, and software so you can achieve better business outcomes regardless of your cloud goals. Contact Us to understand how our cloud optimization services are maximizing returns.
You’ve migrated to the cloud and are using cloud services within your own team, but how do you scale that across the organization? A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) is the best way to scale your usage of the cloud across multiple teams, especially when navigating organizational complexity.
What is a CCoE?
A Cloud Center of Excellence, or CCoE, is a group of cross-functional business leaders who collaboratively drive the best practices and standards that govern the cloud implementation strategy across their organization – developed in response to changes in the cloud. Pre-cloud, all of our infrastructure, usage, and deployments of applications were controlled by central IT. Typically, the IT department both made the infrastructure and applications available and had control over management. Now, in the post-cloud world, management in large enterprises is occurring in hundreds or thousands of places across the organization – rather than solely in central IT. Today’s cloud moves at a pace much faster than what we saw inside traditional data centers, and that speed requires new governance.
This seismic shift in responsibility and business-wide impact has brought both agility and innovation across organizations, but it can also introduce a fair amount of risk. A CCoE is a way to manage that risk with clear strategy development, governance, and buy-in from the top down. Utilizing stakeholders from finance and operations, architecture and security, a CCoE does not dictate or control cloud implementation but uses best practices and standards throughout the organization to make cloud management more effective.
Getting started with a CCoE
First and foremost, a CCoE cannot start without recognizing the need for it. If you’re scaling in the public cloud, and you do not require and reinforce best practices and standards, you will hit a wall. Without a CCoE, there will be a tipping point at which that easy agility and innovation you received leveraging the public cloud suddenly turns against you. A CCoE is not a discretionary mechanism, it’s actually a prerequisite to scaling in the cloud successfully.
Once you know the significance and meaning of your CCoE, you can adapt it to the needs of your business and the state of your maturity. You need a clear understanding of both how you’re currently using the cloud, as well as how you want to use it going forward.
In doing that, you also need to set appropriate expectations. Over time, what you need and expect from a CCoE will change. Based on size, market, goals, compliance regulations, stakeholder input, etc., the job of a CCoE is to manage cloud implementation while avoiding risk.
The key to a successful CCoE is balancing providing agility, innovation, and all the potential benefits of the cloud in a way that does not adversely impact your team’s ability to get things done. Even though the CCoE is driving strategy from the top, your employees need the freedom to make day-to-day management decisions, provision what they need and want, and use the agility provided by the cloud to be creative. It’s a fluid process much different from the rigid infrastructure planning of rack and stack used a decade ago.
Create an ongoing process with returns by partnering with a company who knows what you need not only today, but in the future. The right partner will provide the products, people and services that enable you to be successful. With all the complexity going on in the cloud, it’s extremely difficult to navigate and scale without an experienced expert.
2nd Watch Cloud Advisory Services Include a Cloud Readiness Assessment to evaluate your current IT estate, as well as a Cloud Migration Cost Assessment that estimates costs across various cloud providers. As a trusted advisor, we’re here to answer key questions, define strategy, manage change, and provide impartial advice on a wide range of issues critical to successful cloud modernization. Contact Us to see how we can make your CCoE an organizational success.