Building a Cloud Operating Model - Building a Cloud Operating Model

Building a Cloud Operating Model

Publication date: July 22, 2020 (Document revisions)

Today, many information technology (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 (COM) 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 COM 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 IT) and will significantly affect, and be affectedby, your organizational culture and IT delivery structures. Understanding these implications and your company's desire to change are important elements of building a successful COM.

To support such a transformation, your organization must have a critical mass of people with experiencein the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud who can productionize and operate the underlying platform ina 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-premises approaches, adding yet another technology into the mix does bring challenges. Most worryingly, it can mean that organizations are unable to adopt and support new business initiatives at a pace demanded by the business. It is not until events and issues arise that many IT leaders are forced into acting and doing something different, such as setting up a focused Cloud team/Center of Excellence (COE).

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.