Step 3. Organize the teams around products - Building a Cloud Operating Model

Step 3. Organize the teams around products

Once you’ve identified a set of cloud products, customers should look to build teams around the ownership and accountability for one or more products by a team.

A successful Cloud Operating Model ensures that all components such as people, processes, and tools, are set up to support one another effectively. It is imperative to keep evolving to meet product consumer’s expectations as their needs differ and change over time. Clear product ownership is key. Organizations with great product ownership are driven by metrics and clear accountability with strong service definitions and consistent delivery, all vital preconditions for success in the cloud and faster delivery of business outcomes.

Achieving this requires the formation of a Cloud Enablement Engine (CEE). The CEE consists of two functional domains: Cloud Business Office (CBO) and Cloud Platform Engineering (CPE). The CBO has the responsibility for aligning the products and services offered by the Cloud Enablement Engine with the needs of its enterprise customers and leadership. It focuses on the Business Governance and People Enablement aspects of cloud adoption.

        Cloud Business Office Capabilities

Cloud Business Office Capabilities

The responsibilities of the CBO include:

  • Establishing the overall cloud change strategy to be delivered and enabled by the CEE to drive successful implementation across the organization.

  • Providing alignment between Enterprise Architecture and the Cloud Enablement Engine

  • Establishing processes to evaluate and develop new cloud patterns to support teams looking to adopt cloud

  • Understanding customer requirements and demand for cloud products; translating requirements and demand into a prioritized backlog of work

  • Managing the delivery of items within the cloud platform engineering and cloud business office backlogs.

  • Providing mechanisms to accurately allocate, forecast, and optimize spending by cloud consumers.

  • Enabling self-service capabilities for consumers and executives to manage current and forecasted spend.

  • Guiding consumer teams through the process of migrating to the cloud including training, deployments, migration, and the transition to steady-state operation

Underpinning the CBO is Cloud Platform Engineering (CPE) which is responsible for codifying differences between stock AWS service configurations and enterprise standards applicable for use within your organization. This function is responsible for packaging and continuously improving the cloud platform as a set of self-service deployable products for customers/consumers. This CPE is the foundational structure which would be responsible for the delivery of a set of products as highlighted in the following diagram.

        Cloud Platform Engineering Capabilities

Cloud Platform Engineering Capabilities

The responsibilities of the CPE teams include:

  • Establishing the core and shared platform capabilities and codified patterns to enable enterprise self-service deployments by application development teams via a service catalog and templates.

  • Building the operational platform and shared capabilities required to enable automated build and release processes, end-to-end operations, integration of operations products across all Codified Patterns, and self-service deployments, alerts, and reporting

  • Creating codified corporate security policies and controls in the cloud, leveraging automation and self-service tools whenever possible. Proactively assess and monitor environment to enforce security policies and mitigate threats.

Automation is central to a product mentality and all elements of the CPE delivery, particularly as teams consider resiliency and availability of their products. Automation should be employed to resolve incidents that leverage repetitive standard operational activities without human intervention. This automation is the basis for self-healing systems that can not only rapidly detect failures, but proactively alert on potentially impacting behaviors, execute test scenarios and remediation workflows to decrease times to resolve, enhance service levels and improve product availability.