What are the benefits and risks of cloud? What are best practices for managing and governing cloud resources? How should we organize the IT team to best embrace cloud?
Although cloud has reached mainstream adoption, many infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders are still asking these questions as they navigate their cloud journeys. These are important considerations not only for enterprises that are just beginning to embrace cloud, but also for those that are working to streamline and optimize their cloud deployments.
Companies that are unaware of the mistakes made in their cloud adoption will overspend by 20 to 50%
“In many organizations, cloud adoption decisions were made by line-of-business leaders without central IT governance, creating inefficiencies and a large number of cloud vendors for I&O to manage,” says Miguel Angel Borrega, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. “Through 2024, 80% of companies that are unaware of the mistakes made in their cloud adoption will overspend by 20 to 50%.”
I&O leaders responsible for cloud infrastructure can benefit from cloud’s maturity by applying lessons learned from previous adopters to mitigate risks, speed adoption and maximize cost savings.
Lesson 1: Implement a cloud strategy across the organization
Many organizations have multiple cloud initiatives, each led by a different department. When these initiatives are not aligned with enterprise business goals, the cloud approach does not scale and prevents cloud computing from positively impacting the overall business strategy.
Begin with a cloud strategy document that defines a common guideline for the entire organization, aligning objectives, benefits, risks and key adoption criteria. This helps prevent delays caused by misaligned priorities.
I&O leaders should lead the creation of a cloud strategy document to provide a clear, concise point of view on cloud and its role in the organization. Ensure the document accounts for organizational change and is supported by an executive sponsor. This should be a living document, updated as business factors, vendor markets and organizational goals evolve.
Lesson 2: Establish a cloud center of excellence and a cloud architect role
A cloud center of excellence (CCOE) manages and governs the different stages of the cloud adoption roadmap. Delaying the formation of the CCOE is a common mistake among organizations embracing cloud. Implementations deployed without the assessment of the CCOE could result in unsecure or unreliable architectures that require redeployment.
The CCOE has three main responsibilities within the organization:
- Governance: Create cloud computing policies and select governance tools.
- Brokerage: Help users select cloud providers, architect cloud solutions, and collaborate with the sourcing team for contract negotiation and vendor management.
- Community: Raise the level of cloud knowledge in the organization by capturing and disseminating best practices.
The CCOE must include a cloud architect, who is responsible for defining the cloud strategy and interacting with key stakeholders. The ideal candidate for this role is a well-respected individual from within the organization who has access to business leaders and the CIO, takes initiative and is a “cloud believer.” This person must also have technical cloud skills and experience in cloud adoption projects.