Zero infrastructure — Anything-as-a-service: A technology operating model for the cloud-centric era

Florian Gröne, Bryan Herde, Danielle Phaneuf, Florian Stürmer
November 20, 2015

Executive summary

  • The cloud, especially the public cloud, is now officially beyond hype. Supply options are real, as is enterprise buyer spend.
  • Increasingly, chief experience officers (CXOs) are using the cloud to solve the most important business and technology challenges across all functions of the business, from speed and agility to innovation and cost advantage.
  • The cloud is becoming the core paradigm for delivering business technology, with an aspirational promise of “zero infrastructure — anything-as-a-service.”
  • To deliver on this promise, tech operating models will need to evolve and grow a new set of cloud-centric capabilities that are very different from the old ways of IT:
    • A new, consultative approach to cloud demand and business relationship management
    • A retooled architecture, engineering, and operations capability, embracing such concepts as cloud orchestration tool sets, continuous integration and deployment, and development operations (DevOps)
    • Strong controls for cloud consumption, performance, and vendor/partner management
  • Where to start, and where to focus, will depend on your industry. The journey will look different for players whose technology is the product vs. less tech-centered mid-cap and large enterprises.
  • We offer a blueprint for a cloud-centric operating model, and a road map for how to get there.

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After years of hype, public cloud services are now reaching scale — with dramatic growth ahead


  • What we see today is only a glimpse of what lies ahead
  • Public cloud services are dramatically outpacing general IT spend (22% vs. 4% CAGR)
  • Companies adopt service models, going as far as striving for a zero infrastructure footprint
  • IT suppliers are rapidly adopting their business models to compete with new players

Cloud models have benefits beyond costs, but a number of perceived and real inhibitors slow adoption

The move to the cloud is creating a disruption comparable to the shift from mainframe to client/server architecture

Senior executives looking to adopt a cloud strategy face substantial business and IT challenges

Transitioning to the cloud requires a mix of new and enhanced traditional operating model capabilities

Click the magnifying glass in each section to see more information.

An organization’s cloud transition play depends on its tech affinity and size

Each organization should decide how far it needs to push the operating model choices

We offer a full range of cloud-centric services to help clients move to an IT platform of the future


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Danielle Phaneuf

Principal, PwC United States

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