Define your cloud operating model

Cloud operating models are complex, and it's easy to fall into a series of circular references when defining them. The Cloud Adoption Framework provides a series of complimentary and incremental methodologies that break many decisions into smaller exercises and help you avoid circular references as you define your organization's cloud operating model.

Cloud Adoption Framework alignment

To help you define the cloud operating model for your business, the Cloud Adoption Framework breaks down each aspect of the operating model into methodologies. Each methodology and its actionable exercises are designed to help you define your future state operations.

Diagram of different Cloud Adoption Framework methodologies.

Support for developing your operating model

The following incremental methodologies are designed to help you develop your operating Cloud Adoption Framework model.

  • Manage: Align ongoing processes for operational technology management.
  • Govern: Maintain alignment with governance and compliance requirements and ensure consistency across your adoption efforts.
  • Secure: Align your business to the security disciplines and strengthen your security posture.
  • Organize: Outline which functions your business needs and define organizational methods for your business goals and people.

Collective operating model output

Your environment should represent the way your business operates. As you define your operating model, ensure your environmental readiness aligns with your operations, governance, security, and organizational requirements.

  • Ready: Use deployment guidance and reference implementations from Azure landing zones to help build your environmental configuration.


The Ready methodology provides two implementation options for Azure landing zones:

  • Start small and expand: Build your cloud platform as you define each aspect of your operating model.
  • Enterprise-scale: Build an enterprise-ready architecture based on defined operating-model decisions.

Dependencies and inputs for operating model decisions

Consider business strategy and collective cloud adoption plans as you define your operating model.

  • Strategy: Capture your business strategy and map it to your cloud adoption strategy efforts.
  • Plan: Establish backlogs and align ongoing changes using Agile-based change management.

Next steps

Before you engage any of the methodologies described in this article, use the following article to compare common cloud operating models. Identify the model that most closely meets your requirements. This closest-match cloud operating model provides an actionable starting point and exercises to move you toward your desired cloud platform operating model.