A Cloud Operating Model and Cloud Operations Model are invaluable resources for enterprises adopting the Cloud. While they sound identical they have very different roles to play in your transformation.

An operating model, by its simplest definition, is just an abstraction of the way a business is run.

Essentially, it outlines how your business is configured to accelerate transformation, operational readiness and time-to-value in the Cloud. This will relate to the way you train and recruit people. It applies to the rules and guardrails you have in place that allow you to exist securely and compliantly in your industry/sector. It also relates to the technology and tools you use to support your people and processes.

It is important to understand that when we talk about a cloud Operating Model, we aren’t wandering too far into the technical realms of development and innovation – none of the sexy stuff. Instead, we are dealing with the nitty-gritty day to day functionality of an IT organization.

After all, the cloud has completely transformed the operating model of IT organisations.  In the old world of on-prem data centres, you could see and touch your servers. They required regular attention and maintenance. Procurement cycles had fixed costs and change happened slowly.  Cloud, on the other hand, introduces a brand new paradigm. It is a flexible, decentralized environment where virtual resources can be instantly purchased or deleted.

To be successful and secure in the cloud, IT organizations need to behave differently. This adaption can be managed with a cloud operating model.


Cloud Operations Model

On the other hand, a Cloud Operations Model focuses on the core operations or service management capabilities of an organization. This includes the ongoing and proactive management of cloud infrastructure and services.

Once again focussing on the magic trio of people, process and technology, a cloud operations model will reframe how an Operations team functions within an organization that is embracing more agile ways of working. Normally this would be centered around removing the friction between teams and turning them into a mutually-reinforcing function .eg. Development and Operations (DevOps), Security and Operations (SecOps) etc.

In the case of DevOps, applications are developed and deployed faster and more successfully when these teams are aligned. A Cloud Operations Model will define the interactions between the different teams, ensuring the solutions that are developed are easy to operate and that processes and methodologies are in place to help support the continuous releases of the application.

The aim of your Cloud Operations Model should be to allow your IT organization to embrace constant change, enable automated, continuous improvement and ensure that your business is always ready to adapt to the challenges it may face.

So, to summarise….

When we say cloud operating model we mean the people, process and technology guidelines that an IT organization uses in order to be successful in the cloud.

When we say cloud operations model, we are referring to the people, process and technology guidelines that an IT organization follows to best support your business’s innovation and release pipeline.

Discover more about how you can transform your operating model for the cloud by reading our white paper.