Managing IT operations from a cloud-based Software as-a-Service (SaaS) management platform has become the norm. A Cisco sponsored hybrid cloud trends survey by analyst firm 451 Research of over 2,500 cloud, DevOps and NetOps leaders in organizations worldwide surfaced the following results:

  • 94% use at least one cloud-based IT operations platform delivered as a service
  • 60% use SaaS operations platforms for shared/correlated telemetry and visibility across domains

Cisco has been pursuing a strategy to make it easier for organizations to manage their hybrid cloud environments from SaaS platforms for 10 years, since we first acquired Meraki.  Our strategy has been driven by customer requirements derived from Customer Advisory Boards (CABs), surveys, and other sources. The IT organizations in the 451 Research survey identified their top criteria for adopting cloud-based platforms as detailed in the chart below.

If you’d like to learn more about what your peers are saying, you can download a copy of the 2022 Cisco Hybrid Cloud Trends report.

Full lifecycle management

Full lifecycle management was the top requirement. It was cited by nearly half (46%) of the organizations surveyed.  Our Customer Advisory Boards describe this criterion as cloud-based management of Cisco and third-party compute, network, storage, integrated systems, virtualization, container, and public cloud resources and workloads. They want a holistic way of managing hybrid cloud infrastructure using correlated telemetry and visibility across domains.

Proactive support and analytics

The other essential criteria identified by more than a third of the survey respondents was proactive support of on-premises infrastructure and predictive analytics. Cisco offers strong capabilities in our hybrid cloud portfolio to address these requirements:

Proactive support

    • Ability to isolate fault domains and provide actionable insights to expedite troubleshooting and resolution. [Cisco SD-WAN]
    • Proactive alerts about any endpoint devices impacted by security advisories, providing the latest information on severity, impacted products, and available workarounds. [Cisco Intersight]
    • Raise service requests and proactively authorize Return Materials Authorizations. [Cisco Intersight]
    • Automate the generation, forwarding, and analysis of technical support files to accelerate troubleshooting. [Cisco Intersight]


    • Use real-time, granular analytics for each application to steer users onto the best-performing path for optimal application performance. [Cisco SD-WAN]
    • Advanced alerting, baselining, correlation, and forecasting algorithms to provide a deep understanding into the behavior of the network. [Cisco Nexus Cloud]
    • Analyze workload consumption, costs, and policy constraints across the full stack, applications to infrastructure, and automatically scale resources in real-time to ensure application performance. [Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer]
    • Use of historical data with the predicted storage utilization per cluster to proactively scale the storage utilization. [Cisco Intersight]

Orchestration and Automation

Survey respondents also indicated they wanted to use low-code orchestration and automation. This allows them to create and execute complex workflows across multiple infrastructure domains, applications, and external endpoints. It provides them with the ability to act on the visibility and insights generated from their cloud-based platforms.

Cisco offers a low/no-code framework with out-of-the-box workflows. It includes a workflow designer and custom task designer with a drag-and-drop UI, so users can create their own workflows by assembling tasks along with logical controls and loops. This lets users build their custom solutions for automated provisioning, unified policies, scalability, and disaster recovery across environments.  In addition, Cisco, third-party and public cloud resources can be dynamically allocated among application workloads for more efficient use of hybrid resources.


Customers have also emphasized the need to implement hybrid cloud management in a manner that works best for them. This means a flexible approach with open APIs that allows integration with their existing on-premises infrastructure and DevOps toolsets. Cisco has made this requirement fundamental to our SaaS management platform strategy.

If you’d like to learn more, check out Cisco’s SaaS operations management platforms offerings, in the Resources links below.