Manage organizational alignment

Cloud adoption can't happen without well-organized people. Successful cloud adoption comes from skilled people doing appropriate types of work. This work is in alignment with clearly defined business goals in a well-managed environment. To deliver an effective operating model for the cloud, it's important to establish appropriately staffed organizational structures. This article outlines an approach to establishing and maintaining the proper organizational structures in four steps.

The following exercises will help guide the process of creating a landing zone to support cloud adoption.


Structure type: Define the type of organizational structure that best fits your operating model.

Cloud functions: Understand the cloud functionality required to adopt and operate the cloud.

Mature team structures: Define the teams that can provide various cloud functions.

RACI matrix: Use the provided RACI matrix to map roles to each team for functions of the cloud operating model. This matrix includes responsibility, accountability, consulted, and informed roles.

Structure type

The following organizational structures don't necessarily have to map to an organizational chart, or org chart. Org charts generally reflect command and control management structures. Conversely, the following organizational structures are designed to capture alignment of roles and responsibilities. In an agile, matrix organization, these structures might be best represented as virtual teams. There's no limitation suggesting that these organizational structures can't be represented in an org chart. However, it's not necessary to produce an effective operating model.

The first step of managing organizational alignment is to determine how the following organizational structures will be fulfilled:

  • Org chart alignment: Management hierarchies, manager responsibilities, and staff alignment will align to organizational structures.
  • Virtual teams: Management structures and org charts remain unchanged. Instead, virtual teams will be created and tasked with the required functions.
  • Mixed model: More commonly, a mixture of org chart and virtual team alignment will be required to deliver on transformation goals.

Understand required cloud functions

This list contains the functions required to succeed at cloud adoption and longer-term operating models. After you're familiar with these functions, you can align them to organizational structures based on staffing and maturity.

To some degree, each of these functions are delivered in every cloud adoption effort. The delivery is either explicit or follows a defined team structure.

As adoption needs grow, so does the need to create balance and structure. To meet those needs, companies often follow a process of maturing organizational structures.

Diagram that shows the organizational maturity cycle.

The article on determining organizational structure maturity provides more details about each level of maturity.

To track organization structure decisions over time, download and modify the RACI template.