It's time to change your cloud operating model

Cloud changes a great deal of things, including how you operate. Here is some basic guidance so you don’t run off the rails

It's time to change your cloud operating model

Enterprises need to change workflows and internal processes around the use of public cloud computing. There, I said it.

Organizations understand that the cloud has a huge impact on how they work. This includes the ability to improve agility and efficiency. Cloud computing can be adopted in ways that are most productive for the business.

The process of defining the future state of workflows and organizational behavior around the use of cloud computing is called a “cloud operating model.” This means defining how people, technology, and resources work together to design, develop, and deploy workloads on the public cloud.

So, how do you build one of these things?

If you’re starting from scratch, first make sure that most of the stakeholders are on board with the fact that changes are needed, and that we’re doing this to take advantage of new technology in productive ways.

Moreover, watch out for office politics. Changing operational models is a good time to push a hidden personal agenda. I’ve seen this pop up a few times, and it’s disturbing.

As the organization moves to cloud computing, application workloads should be able to move directly to a new operating model. This is a big job and requires support for IT leadership. If your organization is so inclined, consider becoming a cloud center of excellence that many enterprises are building these days.

Enterprises typically have a large backlog of applications—numbering in the thousands—that can move through an assessment and be mapped onto a new operational model. This means that a roadmap is created for how applications will be processed and operated in the public cloud.

I’ve found that short enablement sprints are better than one long one; moreover, the teams learn a lot as they move applications through the new operational model. However, this is a disruptive change in workflow for most enterprises, with associated pain and costs. Many changes are necessary, including training, mentoring, coaching, knowledge sharing, and open-door policies to make this work.

Finally, you need support from the boardroom. This is the only way you’ll be an organization that’s able to leverage the public cloud to a productive end.

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