Cloud Services and the definition of a Target Operating Model

(Part IV of VI – Processes)

In my last blog, I did discuss the Service Dimension as the true heart of all dimensions of a Target Operating Model, enabled by all other dimensions like People, Organization, Processes and Technology.

Today I want to take the opportunity and elaborate a bit more on the Process Dimension as one of the most important enabler dimension of any Target Operating Model.

Over the years of the development of IT services toward industry wide standards, processes have played an important part. The definition and implementation of IT industry “best practice” frame works, like ITIL® or COBIT’s Process Reference Model have increased the maturity of IT service provisioning significantly.

Cloud Computing is going to further increase the need for proper defined and lived processes:

A)    Service Strategy and Service Design processes are essential to include Cloud Computing into the organization’s portfolio and will build a sound basis for entering any Cloud provider selection exercise

B)    Service Transition processes will ensure the setup of high-quality services and the integration of the service into the organization’s  technology, processes and interfaces stack

C)    Service Operation processes will be the basis of the daily service delivery chain between the Cloud provider and the customer organization.

From my point of view, the following processes have to be considered as “mandatory” before an organization is going engage with a Cloud provider:


Cloud   Relevance

Service Strategy Generation Development of a sourcing strategy
Service Portfolio Management Definition of a “service package” (functionality and   warranty) as high-level cloud service requirements
Supplier Management Governance Foundation for the entire provider selection process
Service Level Management Definition and Governance over the structure of all   important service requirements as the base for selection process
Availability Management Definition and Governance over the SLAs related to Availability
Capability Management Definition and Governance over the SLAs related to Capacity
ITSCM Definition and Governance over the structure of all Continuity related requirements
Security Definition and Governance over the structure of all Security related requirements
Evaluation Supporting the structure of the Due Diligence and Process with Service Provider
Change Management Governance Structure for the Transition Process
Knowledge Management Providing Structure and Governance over the Knowledge  transfer and Knowledge requirements for end-user, support organizations and the   service provider
Validation and Testing Structure and Governance for all Transition related Testing Activities
Access Management Structure and Governance for the Cloud Access Concept and Implementation
Incident Management Ensuring Definition and Setup of end-to-end Incident Management between Cloud Customers, internal IT and Service Providers

Cloud customer organizations have to ensure those processes are being defined properly and are being lived on a process capability level of at least 3 (Please see the COBIT Process Assessment Model (PAM): Using COBIT 5). That means, processes are “established” as a standard management discipline amongst the organization.


Ensuring, “established” processes are in place is the responsibility of the CIO. Often it makes sense to perform an internal “capability review” to assess the organizations “readiness” for a cloud engagement in order to implement the respective countermeasures –  way before the engagement. Undertaking these exercises (assessment and implementing countermeasures) would require the right competencies in the organization and such competencies can be developed with training and coaching.

Therefore, in my next blog, I will focus on the Organizational Capability Dimension of the Target Operating Model for Cloud Services.

Related Blog-Posts:

  • Part I   Target Operation Model – Technology
  • Part II  Target Operation Model – Governance
  • Part III Target Operation Model – Services
  • Part IV Target Operation Model – Processes
  • Part V  Target Operation Model – Organization
  • Part VI Target Operation Model – People


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