As highlighted in IDC’s recent CloudView Survey post, almost 78% of organizations use some form of cloud today, yet only 3% of the companies IDC surveyed have optimized cloud strategies in place. The most mature cloud organizations are defined by their use of DevOps, hybrid and multi-provider clouds, micro-services, and containers, and they consume cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) and security applications.  In fact, greater cloud maturity leads to millions of dollars in annual benefits per cloud-based application. ($3M in additional revenue and $1M reduced costs.)

So, how can you get in on this action? Here are five reasons to assess your own organization’s Cloud Maturity:

#5. Ignore Individual point-products from Vendors, Think Holistically
This seems counter-intuitive but, in reality, cloud technologies and the pace of innovation are growing exponentially.  What worked well last year is often replaced by numerous mini improvements made by others running production workloads. The ability to start small, fail fast, learn and iterate is key. Managing application and infrastructure scalability issues are typically not the domain of any one individual person, product or vendor.  The entire system needs to be architected for efficiency so, start from the ground up and think big.

#4. “Do… or Do Not! There is no try.
Brilliant advice from a 900 year old, Jedi master who didn’t write a single line of code in a galaxy far, far away.  Thousands of hungry startups are eating your IT lunch (from a food truck) and disrupting the status-quo with dreams of creating the next big, must-have app. Their “Go Do” attitude is unfettered by legacy HW/SW issues, outdated IT policies and long alpha/beta development cycles. Failure is often a badge of honor.  I witnessed this first-hand while helping many customers spin up and routinely destroy their cloud-native environments daily, if not hourly, at Rackspace.  This entrepreneurial spirit is infectious and ultimately produces success. Is this the attitude in your IT shop?

#3. Public, Private, Hybrid, or Multi-Cloud?
Yes. All of the above. Our IT industry has empowered so, many with easy access to raw compute power, open APIs, commoditized hardware and collective code libraries from successful developers to build a “perfect” cloud environment. But, that isn’t a business objective. Your cloud environment should enable your business to delight and service your customer in ways your competition can not.  It only needs to be better than your competitors. But, what is the proper mix and how does one stitch all the pieces together?  Who is your trusted advisor and are they still pitching products?

#2. Index Your Organization’s Cloud Maturity against Industry Peers.
Step away from your daily IT grind to assess your own cloud maturity progress to date and how that compares with the IDC research participants.  IDC defines five levels of cloud maturity as:

  • Ad Hoc. These organizations are beginning the process of increasing awareness of cloud technology options and are turning to cloud because of the immediacy of their need, often in an unauthorized manner.
  • Opportunistic. These organizations are experimenting with short-term improvements in access to IT resources through the cloud. They usually consider cloud for new solutions or isolated computing environments.
  • Repeatable. At this level, organizations are enabling more agile access to IT resources through standardization and implementation of best practices. They rely on self-service portals to access cloud services.
  • Managed. These organizations are implementing a consistent, enterprise-wide best practices approach to cloud and are orchestrating service delivery across an integrated set of resources.
  • Optimized. Optimized organizations are delivering innovative IT-enabled products and services from internal and external cloud providers and are driving business innovation through transparent access to IT capacity, based on the value to the business and transparent cost measures.

At what stage in cloud maturity is your organization?  How does this level compare with your peers?

#1. Be the Disrupter
A study from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University estimated that 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer exist in 10 years.  Those companies unable to keep pace with innovative technology advances in their industry will be tomorrow’s headline. The cloud assessment report provides a common baseline, a starting point, for having product agnostic conversations with your teams, trusted advisors and others who are tasked with modernizing your IT environments.

Remember, only 3% of the IDC survey participants claimed having an “Optimized” Cloud strategy in place. This simple fact confirms that, you are not alone in developing your own cloud transformation journey. You haven’t missed out on this wave of innovation.

Our goal at Cisco is to help our customers capitalize on these new opportunities as we enable their journey to the cloud and help them transition to a new IT model.

Take the Business Cloud Online Assessment today!


Scott Whitright

Data Center & Cloud, Marketing Mgr.

Global Partner Marketing