Ready for the Cloud (2): don’t forget your people

So many possibilities, so many things to take into account, so much impact on your IT landscape: the transition to cloud computing and its management is far-reaching. Not only on a technical level but also on a human one. In blog 2 of our ‘Ready for the Cloud’ blog series: how to get your organization ready for the cloud – with a Cloud Centre of Excellence as the end goal.

A quick recap of our first blog: cloud computing can deliver a host of benefits. From saving costs, becoming more agile and innovating more quickly to achieving your organization’s sustainability goals more easily. The main condition: take a smart approach to the transition and to your cloud management. This smart approach goes much further than choosing the right services and architecture, because cloud solutions require a different mindset from your entire organization.

A radically new way of working internally …

In larger companies, the IT team traditionally works in silos, each with its own responsibilities: from support and maintenance to development. As digital transformation accelerates, the pressure on the shoulders of each team also increases. The business wants more and more new applications faster and faster, and IT struggles to keep up with this demand.

Cloud solutions offer a way out. Enterprises get easier access to new technology and can upscale and downscale to meet demands or developments. The business welcomes these changes, but your IT team is fumbling. Agile and scrum may be commonplace by now, but managing a cloud landscape properly requires new expertise and closer cooperation between IT staff and between IT and business. And is the cloud really safe, your security experts keep wondering. In short: your trusted organizational model is being turned upside down.

Cloud solutions are turning the trusted organizational model upside down. The business is jubilant but your IT team may well be fumbling.

… and externally, with software suppliers, partners and providers

Incidentally, cooperation with suppliers is also changing. Longstanding partnerships with hardware and software partners are being exchanged for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). The applications that partners deliver or manage are no longer stored in your data centre but in cloud landing zones, where your suppliers can manage everything themselves.

Sounds simple. But doing it right requires a new way of working together. You need to agree and think about policies, authorisations, monitoring and cost management. Just like in your collaboration with your cloud providers, by the way. Because every time you switch on a cloud application or scale it up, it has an impact on your IT budget.

Towards an enterprise operating model

The cloud therefore requires a new kind of knowledge and a new way of working – perhaps even a new culture. And few existing IT organizations are familiar with it. If you want to work with the cloud, you need to give your entire organization a makeover. You need an enterprise operating model that involves the whole company. Multidisciplinary, collaborative and agile are the keywords: an enterprise operating model balances control and initiative perfectly.

Wanted: cloud knowledge and interest

How do you build this? Start by clearly listing which systems, applications and data you want to put in the cloud initially and which cloud services you want to use. Then check which skills you already have in-house (who has the necessary technical baggage, who is familiar with the DevOps way of working) and who is interested in cloud computing. They become your core team, to which you gradually add new people. If the knowledge about certain areas is lacking, outline a training path.

If you want to work with the cloud, you need to give your entire organization a makeover.

Your end goal: Cloud Centre of Excellence

The best way to support your cloud transformation is to set up a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE): a group of employees (from your IT and/or business teams) who are familiar with the cloud. They become the central point of contact for every decision concerning the cloud: the choice of provider, solution or service, the acceptance of cloud applications, the standardisation of cloud implementations (upgrades, etc.). They also monitor the continuous availability and security of the cloud platform, optimize the use of resources and ensure governance. This way, they ensure that cloud implementations run (cost-)efficiently and that your entire organization acquires a cloud mindset.

SOON: Read how Koninklijke Bibliotheek Nederland is working on a cloud mindset.

Change management

Overwhelming? Of course, you don’t have to do this whole exercise on your own. Did you know that, at Ordina, we not only have cloud experts, but that our people are also excellent change managers? We help you put together a cloud team and develop training programmes and take care of awareness-raising and communication. Our experts are also happy to roll up their sleeves to make the transition themselves, while we introduce your team to the secrets of the cloud. So that, slowly but surely, you can stand on your own two feet.

Incidentally, there is also our cloud adoption framework, packed with best practices, that guides you step by step towards the cloud. You can read all about it in our next blog.

About this blog series: what to expect

New to the world of the cloud or already have some experience? The cloud is complex anyway – if you really want to take advantage of it. That’s why we’re launching our ‘Ready for the Cloud’ blog series, packed with best practices. You will discover:

+ how Ordina can help you with all this.