Cloud Centre of Expertise

On the verge of initiating – and during - a cloud transformation, organisations often face misalignment between the transformation’s ambition levels and the organisation's capabilities to realise those ambitions. In most cases, the level of cloud maturity needs to increase to enable the organization to facilitate cloud technology confidently. Efforts to boost cloud maturity ‘on the side’ -as one of an organisation's many projects and priorities - only lead to a marginal increase.


 
 

To radically increase the speed and to provide focus and clarity, many organisations establish a new team with dedicated expertise. Such a team is called a Cloud Centre of Expertise (CCoE), although other names are also frequently used: Cloud Center of Excellence, Cloud Competence Center, or simply Cloud Team. Weolcan emphasises the knowledge build-up and refers to this team as the Cloud Centre of Expertise.

The purpose of the CCoE is to enable (DevOps) teams and business units to utilise and leverage cloud technology on-demand quickly, securely and in a governed manner. The CCoE leads by example, shows how the work is done and guides the organisation on this transformation journey.

This is done by bringing cloud competencies, knowledge, best practices, guard rails & (security) policies, tools, solutions and services to the table. This way, the CCoE supports the business in doing what they do best: creating value for the organisation.

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Ideally, a CCoE:

  • Is a cross-functional or multi-disciplinary agile team, consisting of between 5-8 FTE, with roles such as:

      • cloud consultant
      • cloud architect
      • cloud security specialist
      • cloud analyst
      • cloud engineer
      • cloud developer
Note that the sizing of the team and roles needed may vary depending on the priorities and workload. Some organisations establish one or more separate platform teams and or business support teams when demand surges.

  • Is a long-lived, co-located team with dedicated team members.

  • Involves other teams & employees based on ‘we lead, co-lead, you lead’ aimed at enabling the organisation to perform the work independently of the CCoE as soon as possible.

  • Works closely with existing teams through enabling & guiding rather than controlling & blocking.



  • Adopts an agile way of working to make sure it can pivot as the priorities and context of the cloud transformation are revisited.

  • Is equipped with a mandate derived from the cloud strategy that describes its role and responsibilities. This is to provide clarity on its relation with existing teams.

  • Is positioned in the organisation in such a way that it can get the work done.

  • Is supported by a Cloud Leadership Team that enables the CCoE to address impediments and supports decision-making.

  • A CCoE is developed and scaled in line with the pace of the cloud transformation. 

Setting up a CCoE starts with a blueprint. This blueprint functions as a decision-making document to align the organisation with the critical design decisions for a CCoE tailored to your organisation. Be aware that the focus should be on where and how to get started and not on what exactly the CCoE will be doing in two years.


CCoE roles explained


Weolcan_productowner

product owner

The product owner (PO) determines and prioritises the activities for the CCoE based on the priorities of the cloud leadership team. The PO safeguards the progress and is responsible for stakeholder management.

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Weolcan_cloudarchitect

cloud architect

The cloud architect sets up the architecture for the basic cloud design and continually ensures it accommodates the enterprise architecture. The cloud architect helps evangelise cloud usage within the organisation and grows the organisation's cloud maturity.

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Weolcan_cloud-securityspecialist

cloud security specialist

The cloud security specialist ensures that the cloud platform meets security and compliance standards. The cloud security specialist supports development teams in designing and building secure-by-design applications.

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Weolcan_cloud-analyst

cloud analyst

The cloud analyst looks after the (cost) efficient use of the cloud. The cloud analyst continually analyses cloud usage from various (financial) angles to optimise cloud usage and inform stakeholders of guiding information.

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Weolcan_cloud-consultant

cloud consultant

A cloud consultant is versatile and contributes, among other things, to evangelising cloud usage, growing the cloud maturity level of the organisation, creating business cases, translating customer demand to the optimal cloud solution and, where necessary, creating documentation. Usually, the cloud consultant is the first point of contact for the business.

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Weolcan_cloud-engineer

cloud engineer

The cloud engineer implements and manages the basic cloud design. The cloud engineer ensures standards and automates implementation and control as much as possible. The cloud engineer ensures the basic cloud design functions as expected. Furthermore, the cloud engineer facilitates the DevOps teams with tools and knowledge about the basic cloud design.

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Weolcan_cloud-developer

cloud developer

The cloud developer supports DevOps teams with knowledge of ‘Infrastructure As Code’ and automation through CI/CD pipelines. They do this by taking place in DevOps teams or transferring knowledge to DevOps teams.

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Where CCoE roles can be sourced from

If you don’t have all these roles within your organisation, not to worry. Typically, CCoE roles can be sourced from other roles. A head of security can take on the role of cloud security specialist, and an enterprise architect can become a cloud architect. Below, you can find the full list of roles.

Weolcan_cloudarchitect

cloud architect

often found in

  • solution architects
  • enterprise architects
  • engineers
  • developers

Weolcan_cloud-consultant

cloud consultant

often found in

  • information managers
  • business relation managers

Weolcan_cloud-securityspecialist

cloud security specialist

often found in

  • security officers
  • solution architects
  • enterprise architects

Weolcan_cloud-analyst

cloud analyst

often found in

  • business analysts
  • information managers

Weolcan_cloud-engineer

cloud engineer

often found in

  • infra engineers
  • software developers

Weolcan_cloud-developer

cloud developer

often found in

  • software developers
  • citizen developers

Weolcan_productowner

product owner

often found in

  • PO's
  • team leads
  • program manager
  • project manager