In many organisations, working in the cloud is increasingly the norm. But how do you ensure that your cloud infrastructure is always up to date and meets the latest standards? Or that your development teams receive maximum support with creating new business applications? Or that your employees can go to one central location for all their cloud-related issues? A cloud competence centre provides the answer to all these questions.
Working in the cloud
More and more companies are working in the cloud; in many cases the coronavirus pandemic was the catalyst for this. Having your applications and data available at all times, wherever you are, and the ability to work (alone or with others) securely: the advantages of the cloud dovetail perfectly with the remote and hybrid forms of collaboration that are emerging and being embraced by the business community.
The cloud facilitates new patterns of working in your organisation, but if you want to make optimal use of the possibilities offered by the cloud, it’s important as an organisation to stay consistently up to date 24/7 with cloud developments – and to convert those developments into concrete applications that actually add value.
Do you want there to be one location in your organisation where all cloud developments are followed, where everyone can go for cloud-related questions and where all cloud expertise and experience is collected and safeguarded? If so, a cloud competence centre is the answer.
What is a cloud competence centre?
We used to call the cloud competence centre ‘cloud first aid’. So what exactly does it involve? In short, it means a multidisciplinary team of professionals from inside and/or outside your company who support your organisation at all levels – from strategy to execution – in adopting and working in the cloud.
The cloud competence centre is also a central location that brings together expertise about application development, governance and cloud infrastructure and aligns the related teams.
Composition of the cloud competence centre
The composition of the cloud competence centre, which includes representatives from the various teams, depends on your organisation’s cloud needs.
- You can form your competence centre exclusively from professionals from your own organisation,
- you can completely outsource this function,
- or you can opt for a mix of internal and external expertise.
To what extent do you need to have the knowledge and skills of the cloud competence centre in-house? The answer differs from one organisation to another. If the work associated with the cloud competence centre is very different from your core business, we recommend seeking external support. This can be easily scaled up or down, depending on the issues and your organisation’s cloud maturity.
Advantages of a cloud competence centre
Working with a cloud competence centre has several advantages for your organisation:
- You’re always aware of the latest cloud services and solutions.
- Your employees are prepared for and supported in the new patterns of working associated with cloud adoption.
- Cloud expertise and standards are gathered together and safeguarded in one central location and are available to the entire organisation.
Advantage 1: You’re always aware of the latest cloud services and solutions.
Developments in the cloud are moving at breakneck speed. With the help of a cloud competence centre you’ll stay informed about whatever’s happening rather than constantly lagging behind.
You’ll be at the forefront where the cloud is concerned, and able to use and develop applications that meet the needs of your employees and customers. In this way, you can stay ahead of your competitors.
Advantage 2: You prepare your employees for and support them with new patterns of working
Adopting the cloud doesn’t simply mean gaining access as an organisation to new technologies and solutions. To a certain extent, it also requires adjustments on the part of your organisation and your employees – both to your way of working and to the associated tasks and responsibilities.
For example, the costs of the cloud services you have purchased are completely transparent and can be viewed in real time. This makes it possible for you to delegate the monitoring of these costs to lower down in the organisation, for example directly to the application development teams that use these services.
The cloud competence centre helps your employees to deal with these changing responsibilities and with working in the cloud, meaning that your employees become increasingly familiar with your cloud platform as time goes by.
Advantage 3: You gather together and safeguard your cloud expertise and standards
As an expertise centre, the cloud competence centre ensures that your organisation is supported in all possible areas and at every level. For example, it provides your organisation’s management team with insight into the possibilities of the cloud, helping them to make the right decisions.
But the cloud competence centre can also define governance guidelines and infrastructure building blocks, which can then be used by development teams to create new applications.
From cloud strategy to operational support
The cloud competence centre is able to support your organisation at all levels: strategic, tactical and operational.
The cloud competence centre at a strategic level
The competence centre helps your organisation to clarify and define your cloud strategy. It does so by looking at your current IT infrastructure and application landscape together with the business and determining the roadmap towards the cloud on the basis of various business cases.
The cloud competence centre at a tactical level
If you’ve defined a strategy, you need to establish cloud policies and guidelines. At a tactical level, the cloud competence centre ensures that your organisation meets all the conditions necessary for migrating to the cloud in as controlled and efficient a manner as possible.
The cloud competence centre at an operational level
A cloud competence centre also offers added value at the operational level – by offering a scalable and reliable cloud platform, but also by offering operational support with the use of your cloud environment.
Our advice: start small
Cloud adoption isn’t a big bang event: it usually happens step by step. That’s why our advice is to start small with your cloud competence centre.
With to its flexible nature, the cloud competence centre is able to grow in a controlled way, and in step with your organisation’s cloud maturity and the issues that arise.