Cloud Migration Team: Structure, Skills, How to Build Leave a comment

Setting these goals also helped the bank avoid the common pitfall of starting a transformation without focus, which can result in operating-model changes that increase IT complexity. Counterintuitively, setting high goals helped bank employees feel freer to test, learn, and think creatively to achieve their targets. Service-level metrics are traditionally defined by activities or individual team outputs, and funding is based on volume. This creates an incentive to increase the amount of activity, rather than improve performance. In fact, one of our clients had more than 300 I&O professionals implementing changes to production and pre-production environments.

cloud operations team structure

Cloud developers should have an in-depth understanding of service level agreements and a range of cloud provider architectures, such as AWS, GCP, and Azure. We like taking a product approach to operations because it moves away from the “ticket-driven” and gatekeeper model that plagues so many organizations. By thinking like a product team, infrastructure and operations groups are better able to serve developers. They are also better able to scale—something that is consistently difficult for more interrupt-driven ops teams who so often find themselves becoming the bottleneck.

Cloud systems analysts

Often this looks like providing an “opinionated platform” on top of the cloud provider. Completely opening up a platform such as AWS for developers to freely use can be problematic for larger organizations because of cost and time inefficiencies. It also makes security and compliance teams’ jobs much more difficult. This can look like providing a Kubernetes cluster as a service with opinions around components like load balancing, logging, monitoring, deployments, and intra-service communication patterns.

cloud operations team structure

If one person owns emergencies, and other standard requests, means that the rest of the team is free to focus all its energy on projects. Standard requests include questions about how to use a service or reports of the problems users experience. Various processes across the company, so your team can confidently coordinate and develop new methods. Guess what helps reconnect those dots to keep everyone working toward the same goal?

Optimization of Resources

Include training in the plan.Cloud management can require a vastly different skill set from on-premises data centers. The need for physical equipment maintenance vanishes to be replaced with new troubleshooting, provisioning, and deployment skills. In a tight labor market it may be beneficial to provide training for existing team members before the migration occurs to help ensure that all the proper skills are available when needed. Since cloud services are pay-as-you-go, there large capital expenditures are eliminated, along with the need to purchase service contracts and constantly upgrade data center hardware to meet changing user demands. Additionally, eliminating data center infrastructure saves facility costs such as power, cooling, even real estate. Improved RPO/RTO.Backup and data recovery was the initial use case for the public cloud and continues to be a strong driver for cloud migration.

The developer argument is better delivery velocity and innovation at a team level. The operations argument is better stability, risk management, and cost control. There’s also likely more potential for better consistency and throughput at an organization level. All of these use cases involve a team of professional cloud software developers responsible for designing, coding, testing, tuning and scaling applications intended for cloud deployment. Business leaders are typically the project stakeholders or executive sponsors who manage the budget for a cloud project and anticipate the tangible benefits from the project’s outcome. Additionally, they establish the cloud project’s goals, gather metrics and evaluate success.

Cloud Operating Model for Dummies

An organization needs to define clearly why it needs a cloud-based system. Is it to gain better visibility, to gain better scalability, to reduce costs, or all of the above? How you answer these questions would help you to determine what business value your migration will bring and how successful the process would be. According to A Cloud Guru’s State of Cloud Learning Report 2020, over 80% of cloud leaders report not achieving cloud success due to the lack of internal skills and knowledge.

cloud operations team structure

Moreover, for many companies, the organization model I walked through above was the result of evolving and adapting as needs changed and less of a wholesale reorg. In the spirit of product mindset, we encourage starting small and iterating as opposed to boiling the ocean. The model above can hopefully act as a framework to help you identify needs and areas of ownership within your own organization. Keep in mind that these areas of responsibility might shift over time as capabilities are implemented and added. Notice that I’ve entirely sidestepped terms like “DevOps” and “SRE” in this discussion. That is intentional as these concepts frequently serve as a distraction for companies who are just beginning their journey to the cloud.


This makes sense when there is enough product/application breadth but little to no shared infrastructure between both teams, other than hosted solutions such as the ones provided by Google Cloud. The scope of standards and practices may vary, but usually covers how and when it’s acceptable to change production systems, incident management, error budgets, etc. In other words, while such an SRE team may not interact with every service or developer team directly, it’s often the team that establishes what’s acceptable elsewhere within their area of expertise. As the company and system complexity grows, new product/application teams will be required. The product focus of each team can lead to duplication of base infrastructure or divergence of practices between teams, which is inefficient and limits knowledge sharing and mobility.

No coverage gaps between SRE teams, given that only one team is in place. Create a hub of centralized documentation that everyone on the team can devops structure easily access. You can even keep this documentation in Lucidchart, or store it in Jira, Confluence, and other leading apps and integrations.

Hierarchical structure

The migration project steps are different, and setting up a cloud migration team structure involves more than just hiring people. Not only does it require taking into account the current infrastructure and available resources, but also planning for the future. An experienced cloud migration team would provide expertise and experience in successful cloud migration and guidance at each stage of the process. This would help you to minimize risks as you undergo the journey to digital transformation. The effectiveness of mandates vary based on the organizational culture combined with the SRE team’s experience, seniority, and reputation. A mandated approach may be effective in an organization where strict processes are already expected and common in other areas, but is highly unlikely to succeed in an organization where individuals are given high levels of autonomy.

  • Ensure that the first and every application migrated has a clear definition of what tools, services, and data are required for successful operation, as this will scale out to become an operating map of dependencies for all operations.
  • The first pillar, abstraction, decouples management from the underlying infrastructure so that cloud machine instances, storage instances, security, network and governance can be managed through a single pane of glass.
  • Organizations can start by aligning SRE teams with applications or application clusters.
  • This isn’t the first or last time Microsoft will shake up its cloud operations, given how central the sector is to the company’s overall business strategy both presently as well as in the immediate and distant foreseeable futures.
  • CloudOps defines strategies and best practices for cloud-related activities, including monitoring and security, as well as providing guidance on cloud governance processes, such as cost management and compliance.

A common approach to addressing this challenge is to offer tiers of SRE engagement. Doing so expands the binary approach of “not in scope for us or not yet seen by SRE” and “fully supported by SRE” by adding at least one more tier in between those two options. Provides a clear focus for the team’s effort and allows a clear link from business priorities to where team effort is spent. Time management between day-to-day job demands vs. adoption of SRE practices. To compare your architecture with compliance guidelines requires regular architecture review with your architecture review board.

Cloud software developer

Or perhaps you’re rapidly scaling and need more resources to maintain your progress. Learn more about how a C4E can help organizations build an effective DevOps team structure and explore how the model helped one of our customers, Cox Automotive, increase the efficiency of their DevOps team. The previous steps establish the team structure necessary to start the DevOps journey. In this third phase, organizations begin implementing DevOps practices––from continuous integration and delivery to automated testing and continuous deployment. Ensure that the first and every application migrated has a clear definition of what tools, services, and data are required for successful operation, as this will scale out to become an operating map of dependencies for all operations.

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