Article

Three keys to unlocking the full benefits of cloud

Cloud Center of Excellence, cloud economics, and cloud governance

Sridhar Bhaskarla,

Vice President
Technology (Delivery Leadership)

Published: January 16, 2023

While the cloud has pervaded the IT landscape, key barriers surrounding cost containment, security and compliance, hybrid cloud architecture, innovation, and skills gaps continue to prevent companies from obtaining full cloud benefits.

To successfully overcome the impediments mentioned above, companies should focus on the following critical functions: 

  • Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)
  • Cloud Economics
  • Cloud Governance

This article explores leveraging these functions to overcome the barriers mentioned above in cloud adoption and maximize its potential.   

Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)

As a technologically forward-looking function, a Cloud Center of Excellence provides technical direction and guidance for an organization. This function is the central governing and approval authority for technical design and architecture. It ensures that the IT landscape is consistently updated with the latest technologies and a clear roadmap aligning with future business requirements.

CCoE addresses the following key questions:

  1. What are the current and future technologies permeating the market in the context of our business mandates and market competition?
  2. How do we ensure that the technology landscape is resilient, optimized, and well-architected using recommended frameworks from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)?
  3. How do we inculcate and continuously improve innovation and thought-leadership culture?
  4. How do we ensure that the security and regulatory compliance posture is all-inclusive and consistent across the organization?
  5. How do we ensure a continuous talent supply through up-skilling and cross-skilling and increase employee retention?

Companies can formulate specific working KPIs based on the answers to these questions. Core KPIs include developing thought leadership material such as white papers, blogs, podcasts, and other intellectual property content. This function also contributes to identifying other KPIs, including technical debt, faster release times, improved resolution times, incident reduction rates, increase in training and certification numbers in relevant cloud technologies, etc., as monitored by the cloud governance function.

Cloud economics

The total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) are the most critical factors determining the value of any cloud adoption. While the specific business and technical outcomes can be identified through cloud adoption, cloud economics aims to quantify these values into TCO and ROI and optimize them.

Cloud economics asks the following questions: 

  1. What is the best financial operating model to continuously maximize ROI and reduce TCO numbers?
  2. How do we implement the budgeting and forecasting structure to ensure cost control and containment? 
  3. How do we nurture the culture of cloud economics and progressively reduce the cloud sprawl? 
  4. How do we leverage partnership programs, incentives, and other cost levers? 
  5. How do we align cloud economics with CCoE and cloud governance to ensure that cost remains the driving objective behind all technical and operational decisions?

An organization can devise several measurable KPIs to determine the effectiveness of cloud economics functions, including cloud ROI and TCO, workload predictable and variable costs, utilization metrics, reduction of waste, forecasting accuracy, direct and indirect cost savings, and more. Deploying adequate cloud economics practices will help the monetary quantification of every component in the IT landscape and track for optimization. 

Cloud governance

Cloud governance is a service management function that brings other operational functions and teams together to achieve maximum business value. As a core endeavor, Cloud governance operationalizes, measures, and reports on KPIs of various other functions within the gamut of an IT organization.

Cloud governance addresses the questions: 

  1. How do we operationalize and continuously track and improve the service levels of internal and external operations?
  2. What is the most suitable operating model and service landscape for organizational needs to bring more visibility and control over services?
  3. How do we formulate and govern the KPIs of various functions by operationalizing, measuring, and reporting them into actions?
  4. How do we ensure that the established KPIs positively impact business agility, resiliency, and growth?
  5. How do we become a catalyst to stimulate a culture of continuous improvement across all the functions?

Identifiable KPIs through cloud governance include operational resilience, maintaining and encouraging employee productivity, service availability, SLA adherence, vendor management, agility metrics, resilience, performance, capacity, user/client satisfaction, knowledge management, application rollouts, etc. 

Achieving the top five imperatives of successful cloud adoption

You can achieve full cloud benefits by incorporating a centralized Cloud Center of Excellence, deploying constructive cloud economics practices, and maintaining robust cloud governance as part of your company’s cloud strategy. 

The table below illustrates how CCoE, cloud economics, and cloud governance contribute to achieving the top five imperatives of successful cloud adoption:

Imperatives

CCoE  

Cloud Economics

Cloud Governance

Cloud cost containment

Security and compliance posture

 

Seamless hybrid cloud architecture

 

Unified innovation

 

 
Cross-skilling and upskilling (alleviating skills gaps)  

Read our article on the top five impediments companies face when navigating the cloud landscape, the solutions to overcome these obstacles, and how to leverage the full potential of the cloud. 

By maximizing your cloud potential, your company can drive business growth and resilience, boost overall performance, and remain competitive in the market.

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