As a member of the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE), part of your core tasks is defining the cloud strategy for your organization and governing its execution. You play a crucial role in creating the “new normal” of IT operation, helping to facilitate fast decision making and spreading cloud knowledge throughout the organization.
My role description is “cloud architect”. However, I mostly deal with processes, governance, and automation topics in the Cloud Center of Excellence. The Cloud Center of Excellence at OMV is an agile team and consists of various developers with expertise in the different core areas of cloud infrastructure.
Besides my role in the Cloud Center of Excellence, I support various cloud implementation projects (which represents the more classical role definition of a cloud architect).
In the best case, a cloud architect supports the project from the very beginning, trying to guide the solution to the best fit of cloud technologies right from the start. Then supporting in designing the solution and the implementation. Besides the support with technical knowledge, guidance regarding governance and costs is usually required – as cloud services differ strongly from the traditional charging and operating models of on-premises systems at our company.
Knowing your existing IT environment and having a concise and clear cloud strategy, with clear prioritization of what kind of workloads should land in the cloud compared to on-premises. Further, the consumers of the cloud services should be actively made aware of the new concepts, like self-service, platforms, automation, DevOps to name just a few examples – in order to fully utilize all the benefits the cloud has to offer.
The biggest challenge so far has been the people and change management. The resistance against cloud technologies in our traditional IT environment was quite high. Most of the management staff are already quite convinced about the value of the cloud. However, this has not yet “trickled down” as much as one would assume. Therefore, it is very important to get the people who perform the actual work on the platform in the boat – and show them repeatedly where the potential benefits of cloud adoption lie.
The usage of platforms. Providing the users with a wide range of core functionalities that are pre-built and therefore enabling them to focus on creating the actual value. Especially if this is done on a large scale and platforms are built on components of other platforms. It takes some initial effort, but as soon as the synergies start to kick in, the benefits are enormous.
Don’t try to plan everything into the last detail, start with the definition of a minimum viable process and then see how it develops. It is better to start with a minimal process in place that can be followed and adapted if necessary than to try to define the “one size fits all” process which will take forever to be defined and will most likely be out of date as soon as it is ready to go live.Quote: Cloud Architect at OMV - Robin Dorn
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