Building a CCOE to transform the entire enterprise - Public Sector Cloud Transformation

Building a CCOE to transform the entire enterprise

A CCoE team should start small, develop an approach for implementing cloud technology at scale for your organization. This team can become the fulcrum by which your organization transforms the way technology serves the business.

The following tenets are key guiding principles for creating a CCoE:

  1. The CCoE structure will evolve and change as the organization changes.

  2. Treat the cloud as your product, and treat application team leaders as the customers you are enabling.

  3. Build company culture into everything you do.

  4. Organizational change management is central to business transformation. Use intentional and targeted organizational change management to change company culture and norms.

  5. Embrace a change-as-normal mindset. Changes in applications, IT systems, and business direction is expected.

  6. Operating model decisions will determine how people fill roles to achieve business outcomes.

Designing a CCoE to include people from across impacted business segments, with cross-functional skills and experiences, is important for successful migration at scale. You build subject matter expertise, achieve buy-in, earn trust across your organization, and establish effective guidelines that balance your business requirements. There is no single organizational structure that works for everyone. The following guidelines will help you design a CCoE that represents your company:

  • Start with a very aggressive vision but work incrementally in small steps to get there.

  • Engage employees by setting goals and letting people tackle them creatively.

  • Maintain a relentless focus on becoming ever leaner, with ever shorter lead times.

  • Use a lot of automation to enable stability and speed at the same time.

  • Have extreme clarity on business objectives, and simpler business cases as a result.

  • Ensure that there is a consistent sense of urgency around the transformation to avoid needless debate and delay.

A CCoE is comprised of two functional groups:

  • The Cloud Business Office (CBO)

  • Cloud Engineering

The functions of each group will help you determine who to include in each group and in the larger CCoE. The CBO owns ensuring that the cloud services meet the needs of your internal customers and business services. Business services, and the applications that support them, consume the cloud services provided by IT. IT should adopt a customer-centric model toward business application owners. This tenet represents a shift for most organizations. It is an important consideration when developing your cloud operating model, CCoE, and cloud team approach.

The CBO owns functions such as organizational change management, stakeholder requirements, governance, and cost optimization. It develops user requirements, and onboards new applications and users onto the cloud. It also handles vendor management, internal marketing, communications, and status updates to users. You will select IT Leadership responsible for the cloud service vision, Organizational Change Management, Human Resources, Financial Management, Vendor Management, and enterprise architecture. One individual may represent multiple functional areas, or multiple individuals may represent one functional area.

The Cloud Engineering group owns functions such as infrastructure automation, operational tools and processes, security tooling and controls, and migration landing zones. They optimize the speed at which a business unit can access cloud resources and optimize use patterns. The Cloud Engineering group focuses on performance, availability, and security.

Things to remember regarding CCOE

The CCOE is in service to other teams, not a gatekeeper. By building a partnership and open lines of communication early on, trust can be established and course corrections made as the CCOE evolves. The CCOE is a living organization, the form and function of which will likely change over time and may not be required at some point of future maturity.

Look at embedding some or all of the CCOE close to customers, your lines of business. While coordination becomes more challenging, it offers several advantages, including faster internal customer feedback, and the ability to tap into a wider range of resources. It also acts as a forcing function, removing impediments to educate your end customers and reducing stagnation that can afflict teams working in isolation.

See the following guidelines from A leader’s guide to cloud transformation:

  • Identify key business and technology outcomes and make the people who are accountable for those outcomes also be accountable for the delivery of the technology.

  • Don’t build new technology to fit a legacy process that was designed to manage risk in a very different technological landscape — modernize, optimize, and create new processes that maximize value from the technology.

  • Engage the broader organization and turn potential blockers into advocates.

  • As leaders of organizations, it’s our role to facilitate the smooth adoption of change — in a world where a constant state of change is becoming the norm, we have to create cultures and organizations that can embrace change and adapt quickly.

Also look at the metrics the team is judged on. There is a reason that metrics that matter are a core part of a digital transformation. If a central team is measured purely on building tech, more and more tech is built, but the use of the technology is an afterthought or assumed to be someone else’s responsibility. Your metric should be how many other teams are enabled with self-sufficiency through the CCOE’s work, the number of times the CCOE is on the critical path for initiatives, the number of education events held, or the breadth of adoption of the CCOE’s output.

Be honest about where decision-making power resides in your organization. A well-constructed, trusted CCOE can be a stepping stone to a larger organizational transformation built on trust.

Envision and align - AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF)

AWS Professional Services created the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) to help organizations develop and complete efficient and effective plans for their cloud adoption journey. The guidance and best practices provided by the framework help you build a comprehensive approach to cloud computing across your organization, and throughout your IT lifecycle. For more information, see the Overview of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework whitepaper.

Immersion Day Workshops

Addressing cultural resistance to transformation, change management and workforce development is crucial. Governments need to take a leadership role in training staff to become not only cloud users, but ultimately cloud application builders. Organizations need individuals with cloud skills to help transform their business. AWS Training and Certification helps you build and validate your cloud skills so you can get more out of the cloud. Our content is built by experts and updated regularly to keep pace with AWS technology launches, so you can be sure you are learning the latest and keeping your cloud skills fresh.

AWS Immersion Day workshops are day-long, in-person workshop that AWS Solutions Architects created to help customers walk through different areas of AWS. This in-depth approach helps technical experts learn how to best leverage the AWS platform to unlock business potential and meet key objectives. AWS Immersion Day workshops are available in many solution areas, such as database migration, containers, artificial intelligence, edge services, and more.

AWS provides access to workshop content and tools developed by our AWS Solutions Architects and packages it for use with customers. Included in this package is a full suite of event management resources, including presentations, hands-on labs, and other assets that are custom built and address key customer questions. AWS can offer both digital and classroom training. Digital training enables you to learn online at your own pace. With classroom training, learn best practices from an expert instructor. In addition to in-person classes, virtual training lets you take courses from anywhere. Whether you are just starting out, building on existing IT skills, or sharpening your cloud knowledge, AWS Training and Certification can help you be more effective and do more in the cloud.

Pilot projects

Many organizations start their journey through the right pilot projects before moving to full migration and production. A good start is critical in defining the success of the whole journey.

  • Start with a business problem — Technology for the sake of technology is a bad strategy. If you are experimenting with cloud technologies, identify a compelling business use case no matter how small it may seem. Then, set clear goals on how that particular business problem can be solved using technology working backwards. This is critical to ensure stakeholder buy-in. Most importantly, take constant inputs from the business before and during the project execution. All successful cloud projects are done in close collaboration with the business units who will use the technology.

  • Start small — Trying to solve a large-scale problem through the pilot project may turn out to be risky. Pilot projects are all about experimentation. By limiting the scope of the project, you have better control over implementation and end result. It helps to go after specific problems, rather than broad-based goals. If automation is the ultimate goal, aim to automate tasks rather than automating jobs.

  • Define and measure the outcome — Set clear metrics to assess the progress and performance of the project. Define well in advance the desired state of affairs, to avoid any expectation mismatch among stakeholders. Work closely with business stakeholders and other leaders within the organization to lay out the expectations and measurable gains. It is also important to translate the results into business language. Talk in terms of business goals, how the project improved retention and reduced churn, how costs and speed of completion are improved, and so on.

  • Start from the comfort zone — It might be a good idea to choose a project that is specific to the business unit in which you operate. This way you can ensure confidence across the board and ensure that the value of the project is quite visible. Such a project will have more long-term impact on your organization. Every organization needs to find its unique components while crafting a successful digital transformation strategy.

Migration Readiness Assessment

Evaluating migration readiness is a process of gaining insights into how far along an organization is in their cloud journey, understanding their current cloud-readiness strengths and weaknesses, and building an action plan to close identified gaps. AWS CAF and its six perspectives (business, people, governance, platform, security, and operations) help ensure that you have a holistic view of the transformation initiative required for an effective move to the cloud. The AWS Prescriptive Guidance migration strategy uses MRA as the prescriptive model for the assessment phase. Although other methods are available, they might compromise the completeness or depth of the review.

Three outcomes are expected from a readiness review:

  1. An understanding of where an organization is in its cloud journey.

  2. Identified areas of strength and weakness from a cloud-readiness perspective.

  3. An action plan to resolve the identified gaps, so the organization can migrate at scale without having to pause to solve foundational issues.

In addition, there are often additional outcomes:

  • Alignment and consensus building within the team.

  • Identification of best practices within the organization that can be leveraged and scaled.

  • A reduction in roadblocks that can disrupt progress.