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Cloud Center of Excellence

Part 3: How the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) can contribute to a successful multicloud strategy and its implementation

Companies are increasingly opting for a multicloud strategy in order to make targeted use of the strengths of providers and reduce dependencies on individual hyperscalers. A “Cloud Center of Excellence” (CCoE) helps with the conception and successful implementation.

Many companies have now started their journey to the cloud and want to take full advantage of the benefits of digitalization with innovative business opportunities. Whereas a cloud provider used to be selected primarily on the basis of cost considerations, companies’ requirements have now expanded: a changed competitive landscape with new, disruptive newcomers or regulatory requirements are forcing more variability and flexibility. For example, cloud providers are integrating new services such as ChatGPT within a matter of days. At the same time, the major providers of cloud spaces have developed enormously in order to remain competitive. 

In this situation, many companies are now asking themselves whether they are still well positioned with their current cloud provider or whether they should also look to others. Companies that buy new units and take over the “cloud fleet” of another provider face similar challenges.

Multicloud – it all depends on the right strategy

If you want to use several cloud providers as service providers, you need specialist knowledge and a high level of transparency with regard to technical and application-specific options. While it used to be easier to compare cloud providers, the selection criteria have now changed. Customers now consider much more specifically which products and applications from a cloud provider can help them to improve or expand their competitive position. Examples of this range from specialized offerings for AI/ML applications to license-optimized offerings such as “Azure Hybrid Benefit” and edge computing products such as Google Distributed Cloud Edge (GDCE), AWS Outpost or Azure Stack.

The advantage of “independence from vendor lock-in” sometimes proves to be an illusion.

This is where companies that have only had experience with one cloud service provider reach their limits. It is often difficult for them to assess whether a huge database could be mapped even more intelligently on another provider. Transparency and experience are also required to assess other supposed advantages of a multicloud solution. For example, the advantage of “independence from vendor lock-in” sometimes proves to be an illusion, because moving data and processes from one cloud to another is far more complicated in practice than anticipated. Therefore, multiple, specialized teams are still required even in a multicloud scenario. Clouds are also difficult to compare on the basis of their cost efficiency, as the providers' pricing models and services can vary greatly in detail. It is worth breaking down the offers into the respective use cases in order to find the most suitable providers.

The Cloud Center of Excellence makes a significant contribution to the implementation of the multicloud strategy

What most companies lack is transparency and the expertise to develop a sensible multicloud strategy and implement it efficiently from a technical perspective. This is because there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that is suitable for all companies. Choosing the right multicloud strategy always depends on the company's requirements and goals, as well as the industry and the company's IT landscape. It is therefore essential for success that the goal of a multicloud is clear.

The Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) can make a significant contribution to successful implementation, especially at the start of the cloud transformation. 

An experienced CCoE pulls the strings and weaves everything together.

A CCoE is so valuable because it brings together the knowledge expertise around the cloud and the dependent subject areas. At the outset, the CCoE provides central structures for technical and organizational development and implementation. During ongoing operations, the CCoE pools knowledge expertise on the topic of the cloud. This increases the availability of knowledge and experience in order to simplify and shorten decision-making processes. To achieve this, the CCoE has a multidisciplinary structure and works with various stakeholders from different departments and business units. This ensures that the focus is on the business objectives and priorities of the units.

An experienced CCoE pulls the strings and weaves everything together. This starts with an analysis of the existing infrastructure, the data center, the existing cloud and the necessary infrastructure requirements, but also includes various aspects of the overall organization. On this basis, the CCoE selects appropriate cloud providers, develops governance guidelines, pays attention to security and compliance and takes care of training, support and continuous improvement.

Set up CCoE yourself or outsource it?

There are different options for setting up a CCoE: Companies can set up their own CCoE and define core functions, while outsourcing the rest to a managed cloud service provider. However, it is not advisable to outsource the CCoE completely. After all, the move to the cloud is a strategic focus topic and the internal expertise built up over time should remain within the company. Otherwise, it would not be possible to achieve the desired independence from external service providers. How much of the CCoE is outsourced to an external partner therefore always depends on the company's objectives and strategic direction. The following applies for all: Only a competent and experienced CCoE will show the right path to a multicloud strategy.

Find out more.

Malke Christian 345x380

Christian Malke

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