As more and more workloads are shifting to the cloud this year, driven by remote work and organisational agility, you and your team may be feeling the pressure to take the first steps.
Having worked with Microsoft and seeing both the great successes achievable, but also some of the more painful potential outcomes if you have the wrong team, it became apparent that the first big hurdle organisations face isn’t the technology, but getting the right people on the bus.
So without any further ado – here’s who you need for your dream team:
1. Executive Strategic Direction
This is the person who sets the strategy in line with the organisation’s goals and has a clear picture of what good looks like. Ultimately, they are going to be owning the cloud journey, and expect their name to be on it. Generally, you’re looking for a respected and accessible executive within your organisation – expect them to have a baseline knowledge of cloud and its benefits, but their role is more of an evangelist rather than an engineer.
- They define what good looks like for the company – giving clear goals and outcomes so that you can measure your progress at every stage of the journey.
- They evangelize the cloud journey within the organisation, and champion the cause.
- They draft this team and help build the high-level plan.
- Nothing will ever be good enough without them. Without understanding what success looks like, C-level will only see the cloud as a cost, and not all the benefits the organisation is reaping. You can carry out the best migration in the world, but if nobody recognizes that, it will be a failure.
- Without a senior champion, the migration will slip down the priority list of many within the organisation and not get the focus it deserves – leading to delays, poor focus, and sloppy input.
2. The Field General
Your mission control. This is the person keeping your plans on track and holding all your team accountable. Their job is to project manage and execute the migration strategy – and they shouldn’t let anyone stop them from getting there.
- Motivate the team, get them working together, and ensure you don’t hit too much fatigue during the process.
- Design the right processes to keep everything running smoothly, from provisioning, to billing, to creating internal best practices.
- Direct people to solve problems before they mature into delays and keep everyone on track.
- Delays, overspend, and lack of focus.
- Missed targets in terms of cost avoidance, resiliency and workforce productivity.
3. The Architect
This is your team member responsible for designing your cloud environment & architecture, including front-end platforms, servers, storage, content delivery, and networks.
They have the daunting task of making sure the organisational requirements are not only built into the foundation of your cloud design (including security, compliance, and back end requirements) but also ensuring it is scalable, and can cater for your organisation’s future growth and needs.
- Work side-by-side with the System Administrator and the Security and Compliance contributors.
- Embrace innovation and try-fail-learn-repeat experimentation while being well-versed in infrastructure design best practices.
- Silos – systems created in isolation without a clear baseline, your cloud resources will not be governed by your organisational policy, not have the correct security plugins, and not communicate effectively across your digital estate.
- Lack of visibility and control – without monitoring and compliance as part of the design, your cloud environment will end up a black hole of uncertainty beyond the details of any one specific workload.
4. The Legal & Compliance Guru
This role works closely with the Cloud Security Manager and is responsible for ensuring your organization complies with privacy and GDPR requirements for your industry, along with any other compliance standards your organisation is beholden to.
These individuals do not need to be versed on the details of how the cloud works, but they need a solid understanding of the obligations that your organisation is beholden to.
- Work hand in glove with the technical team to ensure that design decisions suit the compliance needs of the organisation.
- Benefit from the increased compliance visibility available within azure to report on the current standing, and how compliance is being tackled.
- Simply put, this is one of those roles where if they are not on the team, they will be in opposition to it. It is critical that compliance is involved in the process, onboard with it, and assisting in the design, otherwise they will be blockers at an organisation level.
- Compliance teams blocking cloud migrations due to a lack of knowledge and involvement in the project can be a common theme in highly regulated industries unless they are involved in the entire process.
5. The Application Owner
This is the person responsible for ensuring that you have the cloud resources needed to run your critical applications. They need to understand the different deployment options (IaaS, PaaS etc.) and understand how they will impact the administration and management of your applications. They also should understand the pitfalls and traps of mismanaging cloud resources.
- They’ll be responsible for managing and customizing the application level resources used by your organisation.
- You will lack ownership of your internal application management and resilience. While you will have visibility on their performance and issues, you will be missing the personal to jump in and optimize, and build in the best cloud native application design.
6. The Security Manager
Last but certainly not least, you have your security specialist. This individual should be responsible for deploying, configuring, and maintaining security baselines within your cloud environment. They should also set up and manage access to cloud resources using accounts, users, and groups, along with identity and access management.
- Keep you secure and explain how cloud security works, why it’s important, and the safety protocol to your engineering team
- The same consequences of not taking your organisational security seriously – potential data breaches, issues with legal and compliance, and high reputational and financial risk
Naturally, in some organisations, individuals can wear multiple hats. Some companies will be luck enough to have an enterprise architect also well versed in security or application management. That said it is important to sit down and identify the roles for your cloud migration before embarking on the journey, and to identify any roles that will require additional internal training, or the assistance of a third party.
With the exception of executive direction and legal input, we at ICT have plenty of experience tackling all of these roles, so get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about ensuring your have the right people onboard for your journey to the cloud.