Why you need to think about having a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE)?

Why you need to think about having a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE)?
03 June, 2022

Why you need to think about having a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE)?

Digital Transformation Enterprise SaaS Cloud Solutions Cloud Centre of Excellence Centre of Excellence

Today’s enterprises face unprecedented pressure from more nimble startups, volatile market trends, and a global health crisis. Those that thrive will be hyper-focused on driving value in the long term, innovating and adapting to changing conditions faster than their competitors.

However, most organizations simply aren’t built to succeed this way. A recent PwC Survey found that leaders are extremely concerned about their organization’s rate of innovation. In fact, 44% of CEO’s felt their speed of technological change was insufficient, and 32% did not possess the availability of key skills. KPMG found that 57% of CEOs are concerned that their organizations don’t have innovative processes to respond to rapid disruption, and in a separate study PwC discovered that 61% of companies say the solution to reaching strategic goals is collaborating more across functions, paired with faster decision-making.

It is clear that organizations are failing to innovate rapidly because they lack fast access to expertise. Gartner learned in one study that 75% of organizations will fail to achieve the full potential of the internet of things (IoT) due to lack of access to data scientists and another 80% of companies that expected to employ AI by 2019 failed for similar reasons. Meanwhile, McKinsey found that only 20% of companies have maximized their potential and achieved advanced analytics at scale, even while most companies understand the importance.

Even beyond leading-edge technologies, access to expertise remains a challenge for enterprise leaders. In 2018, McKinsey found that organizations that move top talent to high-priority initiatives quickly were 2.2X more likely to return shareholder value than their slower counterparts.

Centers of Excellence Streamline Access to Expertise

Centers of Excellence were designed to improve the reach of critical expertise throughout the organization, agnostic of geographical location or business unit. For functions like IT or Operations, centers of excellence already have a strong track record of success.

Gartner shows that 95% of organizations that establish a Cloud Center of Excellence will deliver measurable cloud transformational success through 2021. McKinsey learned that 60% of top-performing companies in advanced analytics have a “center of gravity” to drive their analytics efforts forward, and in a separate study Garter found that 50% of organizations with more than three AI projects will establish a Centre of Excellence for AI by 2022.

So, what is a Centre of Excellence, how can you start one in your organization, and what are the benefits they deliver to the bottom line? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Centres of Excellence.

What is a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE)?

Many IT organizations share the core objective of achieving business and technical agility. A cloud centre of excellence (CCoE) is a function that helps organizations balance speed and stability while they pursue this objective.

Function structure

A CCoE model requires collaboration between each of the following resources:

Cloud adoption (solution architects)

Cloud strategy (the program and project managers)

Cloud governance

Cloud platform

Cloud automation


When this function is properly structured and supported, the participants can accelerate innovation and migration efforts while reducing the overall cost of change and increasing business agility. When successfully implemented, this function can produce noticeable reductions in time-to-market. As team practices mature, quality indicators improve, including reliability, performance efficiency, security, maintainability, and customer satisfaction. These gains in efficiency, agility, and quality are especially vital if the company plans to implement large-scale cloud migration efforts or wants to use the cloud to drive innovations associated with market differentiation.

When successful, a CCoE model creates a significant shift in IT. In a CCoE approach, IT serves as a broker, partner, or representative to the business. This model is a paradigm shift away from the traditional view of IT as an operations unit or abstraction layer between the business and IT assets.

The following image provides an analogy for this change. Without a CCoE approach, IT tends to focus on providing control and central responsibility, acting like the stoplights at an intersection. When the CCoE is successful, IT's role resembles a roundabout at an intersection where the focus is on freedom and delegated responsibility.

*Reference from Microsoft Azure Blog

Both approaches are valid; they're alternative views of responsibility and management. A CCoE model can fit within the technology strategy if you want to establish a self-service model that allows business units to make their own decisions while adhering to a set of guidelines and established, repeatable controls.

Key responsibilities

The primary duty of the CCoE team is to accelerate cloud adoption through cloud-native or hybrid solutions.

The objective of the CCoE is to:

Help build a modern IT organization through agile approaches to capture and implement business requirements.

Use reusable deployment packages that align with security, compliance, and management policies.

Maintain a functional cloud management platform in alignment with operational procedures.

Review and approve the use of cloud-native tools.

Standardize and automate commonly needed platform components and solutions over time.

Meeting cadence

The CCoE is staffed by four high demand teams. It's important to allow for organic collaboration and to track growth through a common repository/solution catalog. Maximize natural interactions, but minimize meetings. Recurring meetings such as release meetings hosted by the cloud adoption team can provide data inputs, but when this function matures, try to limit dedicated meetings. A meeting after each release plan is shared can provide a minimum touch point for this team.

Solutions and controls

Each member of the CCoE needs to understand the necessary constraints, risks, and protections that led to the current set of IT controls. The CCoE turns that understanding into cloud-native (or hybrid) solutions or controls, which enable self-service business outcomes. As solutions are created, they're shared with other teams in the form of controls or automated processes that serve as guardrails for various efforts. Those guardrails help guide team activities and delegate responsibilities to the participants in migration or innovation efforts.

Examples of this transition: