Cloud adoption capabilities

Cloud adoption capabilities allow for the implementation of technical solutions in the cloud. Like any IT project, the people delivering the actual work will determine success. The teams providing the necessary cloud adoption capabilities can be staffed from multiple subject matter experts or implementation partners.

Possible sources for this capability

Cloud adoption teams are the modern-day equivalent of technical implementation teams or project teams. However, the nature of the cloud may require a more fluid team structure. Some teams focus exclusively on cloud migration, while other teams focus on innovations that take advantage of cloud technologies. Some teams include the broad technical expertise required to complete large adoption efforts, like a full datacenter migration. Other teams have a tighter technical focus and may move between projects to accomplish specific goals. One example would be a team of data platform specialists who help convert SQL VMs to SQL PaaS instances.

Regardless of the type or number of cloud adoption teams, the cloud adoption capability is provided by subject matter experts found in IT, business analysis, or implementation partners.

Depending on the desired business outcomes, the skills needed to provide full cloud adoption capabilities could include:

  • Infrastructure implementers
  • DevOps engineers
  • Application developers
  • Data scientists
  • Data or application platform specialists

For optimal collaboration and efficiency, we recommend that cloud adoption teams have an average team size of six people. These teams should be self-organizing from a technical execution perspective. We highly recommend that these teams also include project management expertise, with deep experience in agile, scrum, or other iterative models. This team is most effective when managed using a flat structure.

Key responsibilities

The primary need from any cloud adoption capability is the timely, high-quality implementation of the technical solutions outlined in the adoption plan, in alignment with governance requirements and business outcomes, taking advantage of technology, tools, and automation solutions made available to the team.

Early planning tasks:

Ongoing monthly tasks:

Team cadence

We recommend that teams providing cloud adoption capability be dedicated to the effort full-time.

It's best if these teams meet daily in a self-organizing way. The goal of daily meetings is to quickly update the backlog, and to communicate what has been completed, what is to be done today, and what things are blocked, requiring additional external support.

Release schedules and iteration durations are unique to each company. However, a range of one to four weeks per iteration seems to be the average duration. Regardless of iteration or release cadence, we recommend that the team meets all supporting teams at the end of each release to communicate the outcome of the release, and to reprioritize upcoming efforts. Likewise, it's valuable to meet as a team at the end of each sprint, with the cloud center of excellence or cloud governance team to stay aligned on common efforts and any needs for support.

Some of the technical tasks associated with cloud adoption can become repetitive. It's advised that team members rotate every 3–6 months to avoid employee satisfaction issues and maintain relevant skills. A rotating seat on cloud center of excellence or cloud governance team can provide an excellent opportunity to keep employees fresh and harness new innovations.

Next steps

Adoption is great, but ungoverned adoption can produce unexpected results. Aligning cloud governance capabilities accelerates adoption and best practices, while reducing business and technical risks.