Serverless Development

Serverless Adoption: Cloud Center Of Excellence

Drive Cloud-Enabled Transformation

Serverless Adoption: Cloud Center Of Excellence

Ryan Jones
April 21, 2021

In this article, we are going to dive into one of the strongest internal forces you can assemble when tackling serverless adoption at your company.

The main meat of this article will talk about the concept of a cloud center of excellence and how it can help accelerate and provide a solid foundation for adopting serverless.

Let's jump in!

What is a Cloud Center of Excellence?

"A cloud center of excellence is the best-practice approach to drive cloud-enabled transformation. A CCOE is a centralized governance function for the organization and acts in a consultative role for central IT, business-unit IT and cloud service consumers in the business. A CCOE is key to driving cloud-enabled IT transformation." [1]

All initiatives need support both from leadership and individual contributors. Without equal support on both ends of the spectrum the serverless adoption will be slowed down. We need to get buy-in at all levels of the organization so let's break them into two buckets, top down support and bottom up support.

Top-Down Support

Top-down support is driven by leadership. Leadership plays an important role in the journey to adopt serverless because they can more easily help remove roadblocks, reframe why certain things are being done and why it's valuable, approve of additional budget and use their seat at the organization decision making table to evangelize around the overall vision of what serverless adoption will mean for the company in next decade and beyond.

Bottom-Up Support

Bottom up support is driven by individual contributors. Individual contributors help with the low level implementation of the serverless adoption. Such as evangelizing with peers around why this shift will improve development activities, constructing standards, and demonstrating to others how they can take what they know currently and translate into the serverless alternative.

The way that we've seen this kind of support play out is through the following:

  • Holding Internal Training Sessions
  • Building Reusable Templates / Patterns
  • Creating Tooling Which Helps Others Skip Repetitive Work
  • Creating Documentation and Guides

Naturally with what we described above with top down and bottom up support our cloud center of excellence team is going to have a mixed makeup of both leadership, developers, operations, and other key team members that understand the way things are built today and are excited about the future with serverless.

The AWS Perspective

From the book, Ahead in the Cloud by Stephen Orban, we learn the AWS (Amazon Web Services) perspective that at first this cloud center of excellence team will consist of. We also learn that it's critical that the early days of the cloud center of excellence team are passionate and understand why the initiative is important.

Stephen talks a lot about cloud adoption in the book and goes into detail about cloud native and serverless as well, but not everything is relevant to a serverless adoption because there is an assumption your company is already somewhat familiar with AWS (Amazon Web Services).

However, at the core of a cloud adoption is a strong foundation and that's the same for a serverless adoption. You need to have a team of people from all levels of the organization who understand the why, how, and what of serverless.


When taking on a serverless adoption same as taking on a cloud adoption, you need a team of people who are passionate and well distributed throughout your organization. If you are able to create a centralized place for best practices, expertise, and general excitement about serverless then aim them at different teams or projects you can create a ripple effect.

As that ripple spreads from team to team, you should be able to measure what activities and sub-initiatives the cloud center of excellence team is doing which has the most impact. As you learn what works and what doesn't you can make micro-adjustments to the overall strategy.

Thanks for reading and if you found any of this useful, I'd love to hear about it on Twitter: @ryanjonesirl.