Microsoft gives its cloud operations a restructure and new team lineup

The executive sponsor should develop a technology plan that gives decision-makers an estimated financial projection and should include a proposed budget and the resources that will be needed. However, they can’t make the decision alone and should consult the other members of the cloud team. Where it is necessary — specialization is applied, where it is necessary — teams work together.

cloud operations team structure

In the end, the bank successfully rolled out a new mobile-only banking offering in its target geography at unprecedented speed. With customer expectations and technology evolving at an unprecedented clip, moving to cloud is increasingly becoming a strategic priority for businesses. Capturing the $1 trillion value up for grabs in the cloud, however, cloud operations team structure has proven frustratingly difficult for many companies. One of the main reasons for this difficulty is that IT’s operating model remains stuck in a quagmire of legacy processes, methodologies, and technologies. Cloud talent is in short supply but organizations must aim for this proficiency to get the best results to unlock real business value.

Structuring a Cloud Infrastructure Organization

The CloudOps team needs to have a clear understanding of the cloud migration project’s objectives, budget, and timeline constraints, as well as other expectations that stakeholders have. As a highly technical role requiring extensive experience, cloud architects must understand cloud service models (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), virtualization technologies, and cloud security principles. Cloud operations (CloudOps) are the tasks and processes that maintain cloud-based (including multi-cloud and hybrid) applications, workloads, and services, including the management of their implementation, performance, and optimization. On the operations side, SREs oversee incident management, keep track of service-level objectives and indicators, coordinate product releases, and perform such hands-on tasks as monitoring systems and resolving incidents. While a business may choose to build a team having only some of the above-mentioned roles, it is important to keep in mind that the cloud is a complex field that requires expert knowledge whereas unoptimized operations may lead to growing costs. Hence, we recommend a proficient team structure based on a collective experience across different domains.

cloud operations team structure

Ironically, both models can be used as an argument for “DevOps.” There are also cases to be made for either. The developer argument is better delivery velocity and innovation at a team level. There’s also likely more potential for better consistency and throughput at an organization level. COM focuses on the technology that impacts the implementation of the cloud operating model in OCI.

Tips for Managing and Leading a Successful Cloud Team

Moreover, when needed, they can also help you with recruitment to help you fulfill all the necessary roles not only for the cloud migration but the future cloud management and maintenance tasks. One banking institution found that for every dollar it invested in engineering public and private cloud, it was investing $2.50 in operations. Exacerbating this issue is that workers with specific role profiles often lack experience across legacy and cloud environments.

  • Development and SRE teams collaborate on operational criteria and SRE teams are empowered to ask developers to improve their code before production.
  • Moreover, when needed, they can also help you with recruitment to help you fulfill all the necessary roles not only for the cloud migration but the future cloud management and maintenance tasks.
  • Your team must be able to manage and support the cloud before, during, and after migrations.
  • The cloud architect is a senior IT member with solid knowledge and expertise of cloud applications, resources, services and operations.
  • 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 this post, we’ll provide you with valuable insights on how to structure a successful cloud team, the essential cloud team roles and responsibilities, and best practices to enable your team to thrive.

Additionally, they establish the cloud project’s goals, gather metrics and evaluate success. Typically, automated processes include provisioning, user management, security management and application program interface management. Artificial intelligence and machine learning play important roles in automating tasks. 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.


They should also be proficient in using various cloud monitoring tools and implementing automation to reduce manual tasks. Depending on the company culture, words like “standards” and “opinionated” might be considered taboo. These can be especially unsettling for developers who have worked in rigid or siloed environments. These opinions are more meant to serve as a beaten path which makes it easier and faster for teams to deliver products and focus on business value. The key is in understanding how to balance this with flexibility so as to not overly constrain developers. A cloud engineer is an IT and engineering professional who is expected to have a wide variety of technical skills and knowledge.

They work cross-functionally, partnering with application developers, application operations, and infrastructure teams. They also enhance the stability and reliability of applications in production and reduce or automate repetitive manual tasks so that the development team can focus on building products. To help applications run uniformly and consistently on any cloud infrastructure, SREs should also support containerization and replatforming efforts. This may require cloud-savvy software developers, as well as cloud architects or engineers to assemble the appropriate infrastructure for that application.

Cloud Project Manager

In such organizations, it is necessary to control the balance between the benefits for the organization as a whole and the damage to the morale of employees. Develop the practice of storing configuration data such as server definitions in an infrastructure as code model to help rapidly expand and deploy new instances, scaling on demand as needs require doing so. There will be times when team members need to deliver criticism, hold others accountable, and admit their own failures to reach goals. The most important lesson they can learn, though, is that effective team performance isn’t always about hitting numbers. It’s about being agile enough to deal with missing them and confronting sensitive issues for the collective good of the team. It’s a journey – starting with every team member’s commitment to using the following six practices.

cloud operations team structure

A centralized team structure involves having all cloud-related responsibilities and tasks centralized under one team or department. This structure can be beneficial for organizations with a high level of cloud adoption, as it allows for a centralized approach to managing cloud services and applications. In some organizations, the Infrastructure Engineering team may own and operate infrastructure services, such as common compute clusters, databases, or message queues.

Benefits of cloud operations

The SRE model delivers rapid benefits because it brings infrastructure expertise closer to the applications and allows for direct, face-to-face collaboration across application development and infrastructure. That is a substantial shift for most organizations, in which infrastructure resources are pooled so that functional specialists serve the entire application portfolio. And as you might infer from the name, this group is itself composed of two subgroups.

They use established key performance indicators to measure costs, availability, productivity and other actionable aspects of the cloud project. Project managers are also excellent troubleshooters, able to recognize and resolve problems before they cause delays or blow the budget. 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.

Announcing Cloud Entitlement Visibility, Anomaly Detection, and Threat Correlation For AWS

They should also be proficient in identifying and mitigating project risks and ensuring that project outcomes meet the organization’s business objectives. This model is different from traditional operations in that it takes a product-mindset approach to providing solutions to internal customers. This means it’s important that the group is able to understand and empathize with the product teams they serve in order to identify areas for improvement. It also means productizing and automating traditional operations tasks while encouraging good patterns and practices.