The Cloud Center of Expertise (CCoE) is a cross-functional agile team; with co-located dedicated team members, that facilitates existing (DevOps)Teams. The purpose of the CCoE is to enable (DevOps) teams and business units to utilize and leverage cloud technology on-demand in a fast, secure and governed manner. This is done through bringing cloud competencies, knowledge, best practices, tools, education, solutions and services to these value teams. This way, the CCoE supports the value streams in doing what they do best: creating value for the organization.
We identify two parts of the Cloud Center of Expertise: the left part (called ‘Plan & Build’ in the model) focuses its attention on the teams and the business; it facilitates the business with the effective use of cloud technology. The right part of the CCoE (called ‘run’ in the model) focusses on operational activities. To make the CCoE perform its core capabilities we have identified a number of crucial roles in the team.
Roles of the Cloud Center of Expertise
The exact layout and sizing of the team should be based upon demand; if there is a large cloud migration going on, the team structure might differ from a situation where the business is engaging in a cloud native development effort. In general the roles that you will find in a CCoE are:
Plan & Build
CCoE Leadership (Product Owner)
Cloud Security Specialist
Some roles can be combined and performed by one person. For example the most experienced cloud architect might also fulfill the Leadership role and the role of the Cloud Security Specialist can very well be performed by a senior Cloud Admin.
Size of the Cloud Center of Expertise
The sizing of the CCoE depends on the actual workload. As the CCoE is a support team and considered overhead by some, it should be kept lean and mean. A proper functioning could be as lean as 4 people (FTE equivalent) or as large as a 20 people team. Some (complex) organizations need in fact multiple teams in different parts of the organization.
Agile way of working
If the organization pursues an agile way of working it makes sense that the CCoE works in an agile manner and aligns with sprint frequency of the teams. In other scenario’s the CCoE can determine its own way of working.
For organizations that use the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) there is some additional information on how to align the CCoE with the SAFe framework.