What is a Cloud Center of Excellence?
A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) is a cross-functional approach to centralized governance of cloud costs and of cloud performance. The CCOE is operated by a team of stakeholders, often chaired/overseen by a cloud architect, that focuses on driving cloud value by setting policy, guiding vendor selection, and serving as a collaborative internal consultant to improve outcomes and manage risks.
What are the traditional approaches to cloud governance?
Most companies approach cloud governance in their organizations with the leadership of IT personnel, FinOps strategists, or their Cloud Center of Excellence. The three strategies differ in their overall objectives and ultimately lead to different outcomes.
- When IT manages cloud governance – IT adopts cloud resources when it deems them useful, rather than with a strategic approach. When changing the cloud architecture, companies should consider how components may interact and how they could affect performance. Organizations who fail to control cloud costs often lack an integrated strategy, and their attempts to solve the problem are often equally shortsighted and volatile. IT-led efforts address out-of-control costs with cost-cutting measures, such as eliminating unused subscriptions or consolidating application resources. Although these efforts can provide immediate relief for the cloud bill, they don’t address opportunities for performance improvement and cost efficiency, which require more strategic management.
- With the FinOps approach – cloud management focuses on improving the efficiency and performance of the infrastructure to achieve cost optimization. FinOps strategists locate applications in the cloud infrastructure that can be deployed more effectively to better address demand. They also work to rearrange the cloud infrastructure so that the architecture derives the maximum value from its resources. The goal is to ensure that each dollar spent is contributed to the system in the most impactful way. FinOps approaches do work to improve efficiency but fail to enhance the overall business outcomes provided by the cloud.
How does the Cloud Center of Excellence differ from these approaches?
Rather than focusing solely on operational value or cost optimization when managing the cloud, a Cloud Center of Excellence executes a holistic approach to optimize cost, performance, and overall business outcomes. To accomplish this, cloud architects concentrate on cloud governance, brokerage, and transformation.
The CCOE oversees cloud governance by leading the cloud adoption journey. Every company is somewhere along the cloud journey. Often companies adopted the cloud impulsively, went too far too fast, and now are drowning in bills. A cloud cost strategy helps business leaders think about how to use cloud resources efficiently, how to organize internally around the cloud, and how to optimize infrastructure to maximize performance and keep costs low. Companies who get all these things right will rocket into cloud maturity – with great margins, profitable growth, and all the benefits that category leadership entails.
The CCOE also evaluates the available cloud solutions for adoption, which is the brokerage aspect of the strategy. The CCOE aims to maximize business value when evaluating cloud solutions. This ensures companies adopt resources that help them achieve their specific objectives, rather than impulsively adding to their cloud architectures.
One of the most important roles of the CCOE is initiating cloud transformation, which involves transforming the entire company’s attitudes toward the cloud. The cloud cannot reach excellence with just financial leaders; it requires a cloud culture of cost awareness and performance optimization across the entire organization. Everyone must take an informed approach to using cloud resources. The CCOE must spread cloud expertise in both the business operations and the technical disciplines. Rather than just achieving cost optimization, this means the CCOE expands value optimization across all disciplines, such as central IT, finance, cloud operations, and performance engineering. The CCOE’s ultimate goal is to make itself obsolete by embedding cloud excellence throughout the company.
How does Azul help with establishing the Cloud Center of Excellence?
CCOE is an effective model because it spans so many disciplines and has an appropriately broad lens in how to achieve value using the cloud. CCOE teams can address the high adoption costs associated with the cloud by using Azul Platform Prime.
CCOE teams can improve their cloud management approaches by adopting Azul Platform Prime, which has performance and efficiency benefits across the entire cloud infrastructure. Azul Platform Prime is a high-performance Java runtime, doubling as a cloud optimization tool. It enriches the experience companies have with the cloud by enabling them to do more with less: faster code = less computing = a smaller cloud bill. This is an underutilized approach for optimizing cloud costs, but many Azul customers have used it successfully, saving up to 50 percent off their cloud bill. Azul Platform Prime initiates the transformation of cloud resources into excellence, allowing cloud management leaders to achieve the benefits of the CCOE.