Step 1. Work backwards from the customer - Building a Cloud Operating Model

Step 1. Work backwards from the customer

AWS believes that the mission for successful Cloud Operating Models should be to deliver innovative, cost effective, reliable, and secure solutions for the consumption and acceleration of business outcomes by the organizational business units.

Many companies make guesses or inferences about what their customers want. They imagine, have hunches, or feelings. Unfortunately, this increases the odds of being wrong. If you want to be customer-centric, or even customer-obsessed you need to move from imagining to knowing. This requires the team to spend time to get to know their customer, to find out what delights them, and what pain points they have. Ideally, we have and use data to prove that we truly know our customers and what they want or need. Then, we think of what the best solutions might be to address their pain points; narrowing the list until we arrive at what proves itself to be the simplest way to solve their problem.

A Cloud Enablement Engine (CEE) will need to provide a balanced emphasis on core cloud operating model capabilities, where innovation must be embraced without compromising security. Reliability is essential yet the organization must operate and invest within the realities of a constrained budget. AWS helps our customers achieve this by aligning the delivery to our Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) based methodology drawn from the best practices of cloud transformations over many years.

Connect business goals to business and technology enablers

Many cloud adoptions start from a very technical basis. AWS uses a combination of our working backwards and envisioning processes to help lay a foundation for a cloud strategy and operating model that returns ongoing measurable value to your organization. The envisioning processes connects business goals and outcomes to enabling technologies, identifies key measures, and helps you prioritize your cloud initiatives. While the working backwards process translates this into a customer facing narrative so that you can validate your vision with key stakeholders before embarking on development. The outcome is a clear link between enabling technologies and cloud initiatives and stakeholder approval that you are prioritizing on the most important business outcomes and success measures. Ideally, these should be developed iteratively and in partnership with key stakeholder representation.

Align stakeholders to overcome blockers

Having established a shared vision, it’s important to establish a backlog of tasks (epics and stories in agile parlance). The AWS CAF Alignment approach delivers a facilitator led, interactive team planning session designed to guide and prepare business and technology stakeholders as they begin to transform their traditional IT environment to a cloud services organization. Using output of the envisioning process as its input, the CAF alignment establishes a collaborative, executable action plan to facilitate the kick start of a cloud operating model aligned to key initiatives.

The approach is based on identifying the blockers and concerns across six groups of stakeholder perspectives. Each of the six perspectives contain a set of defined capabilities that are often significantly impacted with the adoption of cloud. Using a CAF alignment-based approach customers can learn and plan for the impact that cloud has on the execution of a wide range of capabilities, not just the technology challenges.

The CAF alignment approach is designed to help customers understand these changes and show that they are common and well-understood, while also helping develop a prescriptive action plan to address concerns and remove the blockers to cloud adoption.

          CAF Action Plan Template

CAF Action Plan Template