A Look At The Different Cloud Operating Models

Source: dynamicsystemsinc.com

If you’re considering moving some or all of your business operations to the cloud, it’s a little more difficult than hitting the send button on your laptop. This isn’t saying start panicking over any supposed difficulties, only that you need to do some planning.

Along with choosing a service provider, and the type of cloud, public, private, or hybrid, you’ll also need to create an operating model. As you’re examining different cloud operating model frameworks you’ll notice some similarities and differences. These differences are what can make one cloud operating model a better fit for your business needs.

A Look at the Four Types of Cloud Operating Models

Okay, before diving into the four basic types of cloud operating models, you can also create your own. In other words, you can take aspects from each of the models to create a unique one that meets your business’s operating needs.

Decentralized Operations

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If you want to minimize the complexity of your operations or limit the scope, a good option is to go with a decentralized operations model. Since everything is decentralized, the workloads are operated independently by the assigned team. This type of cloud operating model has distinct advantages and a few downsides.

You can minimize some of your operating costs with a decentralized model, while also optimizing workload operations. To continue to decrease operating costs, responsibilities are often automated. This can have the added advantage of freeing up employee time so they can concentrate on other tasks without jeopardizing critical operations. Deployment is also simpler, and operational support is limited to only the scope of the workload.

Since the operating model is scaled down, you’re not going to need as much experience to implement the operating model or keep it running. While these are great benefits, especially if you’re looking for ways to minimize some of your operating costs. However, a decentralized cloud operating model also comes with disadvantages. These can include:

  • Sometimes it’s more difficult to budget for costs since you’re not using centralized governance. This means a workload may be duplicated, and this can add to costs.
  • The team responsible for the workload doesn’t have a ton of support. They’re responsible for the workload’s security, operations, and governance, and this can be a little overwhelming if nothing is automated.
  • Even standardization can be inconsistent, and this has a lot to do with the lack of support.
  • Team members are responsible for all workload decisions, including the application’s design and configuration. If they don’t have experience issues with governance, security, and operations can pop up.

Centralized Operations

If your workloads tend to be stable and change is primarily the result of patches and regular updates, centralized operations may be the best operating model for your business. In this cloud operating model, control over innovations and shifting to cloud operations are priorities. Costs are usually scalable, and responsibilities focus on teams who can focus under pressure.

Since it’s relatively easy to standardize workloads, there’s less for duplications. This is another potential cost-saving measure, especially when added to operational support needs. Small IT teams are typically available to provide support than what’s needed for physical hardware and software location.

These same IT teams can also provide the experience necessary when dealing with risk, governance, operations, and security. Along with the advantages of this operating model, there are also some downsides to consider:

  • Your centralized deployment team may not understand the workload infrastructure, and this can lead to an increase in costs.
  • Responsibilities are greater for involved individuals, and this can lead to workplace stress and burnout.
  • Scaling and shifting the operation model to meet different demands can be difficult.
  • Some industry experts may feel constrained trying to implement a centralized operations model. This can lead to dissatisfaction with their jobs.

Enterprise Operations

If you’re searching for a cloud operating model that provides control, supports IT teams, and encourages innovation, then enterprise operations may be the right model for your business to use as it moves to the cloud.

When it comes to costs, teams are responsible for making decisions and this means accepting the blame if expenses increase. Workloads are also shared, meaning everyone involved in the process has a shared responsibility.

This model encourages innovation, but guardrails are in place to keep decisions within the framework, which also helps to ensure consistency across the framework. While teams assume responsibility, operational support is present and typically automated to streamline the process. The guardrails also provide the expertise without stifling innovation.

While this model relies heavily on automated processes, innovation, shared team responsibility, and guardrails, it’s not always the best option for all businesses. Some of the reasons why include:

  • Budgets can be difficult to estimate since teams are primarily responsible for costs.
  • Responsibilities can create difficulties among team members and if guardrails are overlooked issues with security, governance, and operations can occur, which can also affect standardization.

Distributed Operations

Source: uniteprivatenetworks.com

The other commonly used cloud operations model is distributed operations. This isn’t a widely used model and it’s even been discouraged. However, this doesn’t mean you should automatically ignore its potential. You should always be informed so you can make the best decision for your business as you shift operations to the cloud.

So, if you have varying business units, scattered regional operations, or an extremely diverse customer base, this cloud operating model may be precisely what you need. The model places a priority on integrating multiple operating models with a focus on moving the entire operation to a single platform (the cloud).

While this is an advantage, there’s also a downside. Consistency and standardization are difficult to achieve. This can lead to confusion among team members, so keep this in mind if you decide this is your best option.

Choosing the Right Cloud Operating Model

With a comprehensive understanding of the various cloud operating models at your disposal, you are now more equipped to identify the solution that aligns perfectly with your business objectives and operational requirements.

It’s crucial to carefully evaluate both the benefits and the limitations of each option to ensure your decision supports your long-term business strategy and growth. This informed approach will not only optimize your resources but also enhance your operational efficiency in the dynamic digital marketplace.