Building a Cloud Operating Model - Building a Cloud Operating Model

Building a Cloud Operating Model

Publication date: July 22, 2020 (Document history and contributors)

Today, many IT leaders want to understand how to adopt cloud technology while maximizing cloud benefits, such as business agility, risk reduction, staff efficiency, and cost reduction. This paper outlines the principles for building a successful Cloud Operating Model that delivers innovative, cost effective, reliable, and secure solutions for the consumption and acceleration of business outcomes by the organizational business units.


Establishing an appropriate cloud operating model is critical to forming your organization’s successful adoption of cloud and delivering greater business agility. The impact of the cloud will be felt across your entire organization (not just Information technology) and will significantly affect, and be affected by, your organizational culture and Information technology delivery structures. Understanding these implications and your company's desire to change are important elements of building a successful cloud operating model.

To support such a transformation, your organization must have a critical mass of people with experience in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud that can productionize and operate the underlying platform in a product centric approach.

Many organizations start by taking a traditional project-based approach adding cloud as an additional technology layer into their existing operating model and landscape. While they may start to realize value and savings from reduced infrastructure spend over traditional and legacy on premise approaches, adding yet another technology into the mix does bring in challenges. Most worryingly it can mean that they are unable to adopt and support new business initiatives at a pace demanded by the business. It is not until one or more of several events and issues arises that many IT leaders are forced into acting and doing something different such as setting up a focused Cloud team / Centre of Excellence.

At AWS we refer to this capability as a Cloud Enablement Engine (CEE). This is a branch of Technology and Business resources with a focus on leading the organization on its cloud adoption journey that maps to the most important needs of the business (and not just Information Technologists).

This whitepaper discusses critical elements for creating a successful cloud adoption capability and identifies mechanisms for acceleration that can be applied prior to a major event or issue. The guide also highlights how the AWS Domain model can be used to establish an aligning of the operating model with the most important needs of the business.