Technology and Processes — but what about the People? — Enterprise AWS Cloud Transformation Challenges

Growth initiatives fail for many reasons. The strategy may be flawed, or execution may fail short. Most often, however, initiatives fail because of people BCG.”

The concept of “people, process & technology ” is of crucial importance to successful project implementations and organizational change because operational efficiency requires an approach that optimizes the relationships between all three components.

A successful AWS cloud-transformation journey requires a balance that integrates all the three pillars. Often, organizations focus on process improvements and technology implementation but disregard the human aspect which is the most significant obstacle. If you don’t have the right people in place for the right responsibilities in the right structure, the chances are that the transformation isn’t going to be successful.

The six components in the people model that can make or break your transformation are:

Organizational Structure: The most effective strategy is setting up a center of excellence (CCOE), and it is fundamental to ensure that there is an effective leadership in place. The idea is to establish a core cloud team that would be responsible for building competencies and developing cloud standards. It is recommended that enthusiasm be part of qualification criteria when recruiting members for the core cloud team. Select the right individuals who can spread enthusiasm about AWS cloud adoption throughout the organization.

Roles & Job descriptions: It is crucial to get the roles and job descriptions as accurately defined as possible to ensure that people are comfortable with their new roles. A RACI plan can be built which is a resource management function where you assign roles, responsibilities and map them to tasks. The RACI matrix could be utilized to establish the members of your cloud team that are responsible, accountable, consulted or just primarily going to be informed.

Skills & Competencies: It is important to have an assessment to determine where your organization is and establish what skills you have. Determine the gaps in skills that exist in your organization. Figure out what capabilities your organization is going to require. For example if you want to be able to track and manage costs effectively in your AWS cloud environment, the individual has to be able to architect your AWS cloud environment, use AWS cost management tools like AWS Cost explorer & AWS Budgets, know the right tagging strategy and perhaps also have the ability to work with Finance Department.

Training & Certification: An in-depth evaluation has to be conducted to address your organization’s capability to ensure that members of your cloud team have the knowledge and skills required to execute their various roles. Construct a functional training & certification plan and start to map out based on the various AWS cloud roles what the team requires. Additionally, members of your cloud team will also need to regularly update their skills and knowledge to be able to implement & maintain AWS services effectively.

Manage Staffing: This is one of the key elements that you need to get right. Determine the functions that are going to go obsolete and determine how to repurpose those skill sets for broader things in AWS. You need to consider the short & long term plans of how the talent pool you have would operate the environment a year or two from now. It is also very important to motivate people for the right positions.

Organization Change Management: Leaders at the top need to ensure that the goals are defined, a common vision is being built with the right teams and lastly, alignment exists in their organization. It is important to establish that your business strategy, product strategy and goals you want to accomplish with cloud adoption are clearly defined. For example, Do you want to bring more agility to the organization or is it as a result of saving cost? Humans generally don’t take change very well, therefore, it is imperative to ensure that communication is happening on all levels. You would probably have some people that are concerned about how cloud adoption would affect their jobs, and that is why you have to maximize your communication with your audience. Slowly with time, the effect of the change would become clear because people would have had the chance to experiment with the AWS technology and would have seen the positive outcomes regarding time savings, cost savings and even the positive impact of having cloud in their job titles.

Remember — The first AWS cloud team you put together would experience some setbacks and other times make progress, all of these are perfectly natural.

“There is no compression algorithm for experience — AWS CEO Andy Jassy”