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Avinash Bendigeri Avinash is a developer-turned Technical writer skilled in core content creation. He has an excellent track record of blogging in areas like Docker, Kubernetes, IoT and AI.

Understanding Cloud Operating Models

3 min read

Cloud computing has recently become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. However, simply migrating to the cloud isn’t enough. To maximize the benefits of cloud services, organizations need a well-defined cloud operating model.

This guide will provide an in-depth review of cloud operating models, including common examples of cloud operating models and their benefits. This way, you’re able to make more informed decisions, leverage the cloud effectively, and achieve your short- and long-term business goals.

What Is a Cloud Computing Model?

A cloud computing model refers to the conceptual framework or architecture that defines how cloud computing resources are deployed and managed. It outlines the structure and approach through which organizations effectively leverage cloud services to meet their computing needs and achieve business objectives. Cloud computing models address governance, security, cost management, scalability, agility, and integration with existing computer systems.

Types of Cloud Computing Models

There’s no one-size-fits-all cloud operating model. The ideal model for your organization will depend on your specific needs and cloud adoption strategy. That said, the following are the most common types of cloud computing models:

Centralized Operations

In this model, a central IT team oversees the provisioning, management, control, and optimization of cloud services/resources for the entire organization. This approach offers several advantages. Among its benefits are standardized governance, consistent security practices, and potentially lower costs through bulk purchasing of cloud services. Although this approach offers strong governance and oversight, it is less agile for business units wanting to innovate and deploy cloud solutions quickly.

Decentralized Operations

This model empowers individual business units to manage their cloud resources. It gives businesses the freedom to choose cloud services and deploy applications that meet specific needs.

However, these types of cloud operating models can lead to inconsistencies in security, especially if business units aren’t equipped to manage cloud resources effectively. As a result, organizations that prioritize innovation and agility at the department level prefer this approach.

Distributed Operations

This model combines elements of centralized and decentralized approaches, striking a balance between governance and autonomy. In distributed cloud operations, departments have some level of autonomy and control over their cloud environments and resources. Although this approach balances innovation with control, it requires careful planning and coordination to ensure compliance, consistency, and security.

Enterprise Operations

Enterprise operations cloud computing primarily focuses on meeting the specific needs and requirements of large organizations. In this approach, individual business units and departments usually have some level of autonomy and control over their cloud resources. This allows each department to innovate and respond to various computing needs while benefiting from shared services and centralized governance.

Benefits of Cloud Operating Models

A cloud computing model is a lot more than just a fancy plan; it’s a strategic framework that unlocks many benefits for organizations across various industries. These benefits include:


Cloud operating models are fundamentally elastic—they can be scaled up or down quickly to meet changes in demand. Whether it’s scaling up to accommodate increased workload during peak periods or scaling back during off-peak seasons, cloud resources offer a higher level of flexibility that traditional IT infrastructure cannot match. This allows organizations to meet fluctuating demands without over-provisioning or underutilizing available resources.


Cloud operating models promote cost optimization by providing greater visibility and control over your cloud spending. By establishing clear policies for resource usage and tracking consumption, organizations can identify opportunities to eliminate unnecessary costs. Plus, the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud services ensures you pay only for the resources you use, further reducing expenses.


A well-defined cloud operating model enables innovation by providing a platform for experimentation and rapid prototyping. Most models offer access to advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT). These capabilities allow organizations to experiment with new ideas and come up with innovative solutions. Organizations worldwide can now develop and launch new products and services faster, gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Disaster Recovery

Natural disasters, power outages, and security breaches can all disrupt your IT operations. A cloud operating model helps you prepare for these unforeseen events by offering advanced built-in disaster recovery capabilities that enhance resilience and ensure business continuity in the event of an outage. Whenever there is a natural disaster, power outage, hardware failure, or other disruptions, organizations can tap into these capabilities and quickly restore services without experiencing prolonged downtime.

Global Accessibility

One of the best things about cloud operating models is that they provide organizations with the ability to deploy and access applications securely from anywhere in the world. This is particularly beneficial for organizations with geographically dispersed teams or those looking to expand into new markets.

Ready to Move to the Cloud?

Understanding cloud operating models puts you in a great position to manage your organization’s cloud environment more effectively. Choosing the right model and implementing it properly will help you maximize the benefits of cloud services and achieve your business goals.

A successful cloud operating model is an ongoing process. Therefore, you should be in the practice of continuously assessing your needs, adapting your approach, and leveraging the cloud’s potential to drive innovation, agility, and efficiency.

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Avinash Bendigeri Avinash is a developer-turned Technical writer skilled in core content creation. He has an excellent track record of blogging in areas like Docker, Kubernetes, IoT and AI.
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