By Will Nankivell, Director, Partnerships
An IT center of excellence – whether for telecom, mobility, cloud, or any other discipline – can drive lasting business value at your organization. But why do some centers of excellence succeed while other fail? We’ll explore the factors important to a successful center of excellence, including the most important factor that drives success.
While a center of excellence can be useful at any stage of your technology journey, it’s vital to get a cross functional team engaged with executive ownership. Every technology discipline can benefit from a center of excellence, such as mobility and cloud. If you’re at the beginning stages of your cloud migration, a cloud center of excellence can help select the right vendors and define processes and best practices, with a focus on continuous improvement.
Why you need a technology center of excellence
Introducing new technology into the enterprise is not a simple task. A center of excellence provides a framework for adopting and implementing new technology, tools, and techniques, and their ongoing operation.
Some organizations might be tempted to implement new technology and mature quickly. But taking the time to create a center of excellence speeds up implementation and growth by thoughtfully defining best practices and repeatable processes. An IT center of excellence also improves communication throughout the organization and improves ROI by optimizing resources and assets.
Technology centers of excellence are important for organizations that want to get the most out of their technology investments.
What is a technology center of excellence and how to create one
The CoE is a small, cross-functional team tasked with establishing and documenting processes for researching, onboarding, and operating technology. It leads the way in exploring and adopting new technology tools, techniques, or practices.
CoE team members should be passionate about technology with a collectively broad understanding of many technology areas, be aware of the latest technology trends, and possess a solid grasp of the business. Since their goal is to implement change, team members should be open-minded, collaborative, and respected by other employees.
The organization should establish a separate center of excellence for each technology, such as the computing center, mobility services, and cloud networks. The center of excellence should drive the successful adoption and use of all technology. (See our guide, How to Build a Cloud Center of Excellence.)
#1 factor for a successful center of excellence
Choosing the right team for your technology center of excellence is extremely important. Establishing CoE goals at the outset will help propel the team toward success. But by far the most important element that can make or break your IT CoE is executive sponsorship. In fact, lack of executive buy-in is the primary reason centers of excellence (and other technology initiatives) fail.
When senior leadership promotes a culture of continued improvement and champions the center of excellence, then the CoE will gain importance and it will achieve buy-in and the cooperation from the rest of the organization.