The cloud has undoubtedly become an integral part of your government agency’s IT strategy, and it’s no longer a question of “if” but rather “when” and more importantly, how. The speed, scale and pace of innovation offered by the cloud is simply too compelling. Cloud technology offers government agencies the tools needed to drive impact with innovation in our rapidly changing digital world.

Canadians have come to expect ‘familiar’ online services from government agencies, providing the same user-experience they get from commercial service offerings. This fundamental shift in the delivery of IT services has forced many government agencies to revisit their approach.

Successfully executing your cloud strategy requires a systematic approach as well as a defined program of change. This systematic approach and program of change is structured around three workstreams: workloads, foundation and operations. 

Consider which workloads to move and why

Addressing the foundational and operational components without having a workload or set of workloads that will exist on the platform is of little value. Identification, prioritization and migration of a workload is essential to the business case for change and ensures the department prioritizes the foundations and operations workstreams.

Address the right foundational components

The greatest degree of commonality across customers is in the foundational components that provide the core services for cloud consumption. The following components are included in this effort and others may be identified: identity, authentication, network, subscriptions and security.

Operational management and support

This workstream often proves to be the most challenging as each customer’s culture and work environment is unique. While Microsoft has numerous proven practices around operations and governance how it is incorporated into the existing customer environment is challenging. This workstream focuses on change management, release management, service management and governance.

Your starting point: Create a Cloud Center of Expertise (CoE)

You may not be intimately knowledgeable in cloud but you possess the desire, drive and entrepreneurial spirit to learn and grow. This multi-disciplinary team will work with cloud project teams and provide:

  • Cloud analysis
  • Cloud guidance and architecture
  • Cloud engagement and reporting

This team will collect winning design patterns and practices to leverage in other cloud projects. Start small and expand into more complex workloads as the organizations maturity in designing and operating cloud solutions (including hybrid) increases. The Cloud CoE will work across all three workstreams (Workload, Foundational, and Operational) to drive consistent & continual delivery, share knowledge with service consumers, enable prioritized cloud deployments, and advance consumption of cloud services.

The Cloud CoE is key to successfully executing your cloud strategy and delivering a systematic approach across all cloud projects that will evolve as your organization matures. Our next blogs will delve deeper into the framework components for this approach which consists of three workstreams: workloads, foundation and operations. 

Find out how Microsoft Digital Advisory Services can get you started on your digital journey by helping you engage your customers, empower your employees, optimize your operations and transform your products.