White Paper

Organizing for the Cloud

Your business is ready to reap the rewards of the cloud era.
Is your IT organization ready to deliver?
Executive Summary

Business leaders look at the “cloud” and see new ways to accelerate innovation, create competitive advantages, and drive new business models. IT executives look at private and public clouds and see a host of new possibilities for positive IT outcomes, including:

  • Optimized CapEx by cutting unit costs for software-defined data center (SDDCTM) infrastructure
  • Lower OpEx through streamlined and automated data center operations
  • A better security-to-effort ratio through security controls that are native to infrastructure
  • Higher uptime thanks to high-availability, resilient infrastructure, and proactive IT operations
  • Improved service delivery times through app and infrastructure delivery automation
  • As-needed access to resources leading to better application performance and availability
  • Agility in providing technology currency thru choice of workload placement

But all too often, a critical aspect of harnessing the cloud is overlooked: the organizational impact of moving to the cloud model.

Successful organizations are shifting to a new cloud operating model to ensure optimized service delivery to the business. Optimizing service delivery requires IT to become a service provider to their line of business customers. As a service provider, IT needs to organize in such a way that it can efficiently and effectively plan, build, deliver, and run a reliable catalog of services. VMware refers to this as a service-oriented cloud operating model.

The fact is, the transition to the service-oriented cloud operating model requires an evolution in mindset and culture, roles, skills, processes, policies, and organizational structure. Yet many IT leaders become so focused on the vision or the technological requirements of the cloud that they lose sight of whether their IT staff is properly prepared for this new world. Organizing for the cloud cannot be an afterthought in the formulation of an effective IT transformation strategy.

This paper looks at the organizational impacts of transforming to a service-oriented cloud operating model from multiple perspectives and provides insights and advice about how to prepare for—and execute—a winning transformation strategy. It describes a recommended set of steps to follow as you begin your transformation efforts, culture and mindset considerations, what a typical journey looks like, recommended roles, responsibilities, and skillsets, recommended team structures and management, and key success factors. Following the advice provided herein will go a long way to organizing for success in fulfilling your cloud vision.

The following is a partial list of the roles need to successfully move to the Cloud. These are the capabilities that Cloud Let’s GO brings to our small and mid-sized business clients.

  • Cloud Infrastructure Services Owner: Overall responsibility and accountability for cloud infrastructure services, such as VMware Cloud Foundation-based infrastructure for a private cloud or the various Cloud Service Provider infrastructure-related services in a multi-cloud environment, throughout their lifecycle. Also responsible for actively evangelizing the activities, successes, and impacts of the cloud infrastructure services team.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Services Architect(s): Sets the overall cloud infrastructure services architectural standards and is responsible for developing and maintaining related architecture and design documents; works with Enterprise Architects to make sure the cloud infrastructure services architecture is aligned with enterprise architectural standards and strategies. He or she is also responsible for working closely with architects from other cloud service teams, such as the Cloud Platform or Digital Workspace Service Lifecycle Management teams, to make sure the underlying cloud infrastructure architecture and technical decisions support their cloud services, service tiers, and OLAs needed to meet business needs.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Services Engineer(s): Responsible for designing, building, and testing the cloud infrastructure services components comprising the cloud infrastructure, as well as providing level 3 support.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Services Analysts: Understand how to leverage all of the capabilities of tools, such as vRealize Suite, to proactively monitor the performance, availability, and capacity of cloud infrastructure services and works with ecosystem members to act on events before they adversely affect the services; works with analysts from other cloud service teams to understand their demand forecasts for cloud infrastructure services.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Services Administrators: Administers, audits, and manages as well as provides tier 3 support for the cloud infrastructure services and components comprising the cloud environment; responsible for working with cloud infrastructure automation developers and other teams to implement integration with external systems. Note: While the core cloud infrastructure services administrator role is responsible for all aspects of managing cloud infrastructure services, it could also include specialized roles, such as a Network Administrator and Security Administrator if NSX provides primary network and security capabilities, or a Storage Administrator if vSAN provides virtual storage capabilities, as well as, for example, AWS or Azure if these external cloud providers are used.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Services Automation & Integration Developers: Responsible for cloud infrastructure services automation and integration development.



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