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Traits of Cloud Optimized Organizations

- June 23, 2017 - 0 Comments

I am headed to Cisco Live in Las Vegas and I am looking forward to meeting with our partners and customers to learn more about their cloud plans and challenges.

Believe it or not, cloud has been around for at least ten years, and yet all the data points at my disposal tell us that there is room for continuous improvements since very few organizations have optimized cloud strategies in place. In other words, not many organizations have been able to define and implement their multicloud strategy to meet their objectives while extracting maximum value.

According to an IDC study, almost 70% of organizations lack advanced cloud strategies. The question is why? We decided to study a bit closer that 3% of organizations that are leading the way with optimized cloud strategies. And we did that for a couple of reasons. First, because they have been able to report greater business impact across a broad range of KPIs but more importantly also because we wanted to know what common traits they have and what capabilities enables them to get more value from their multicloud environments. We have captured many of these learnings in our Cisco Business Cloud Advisor (BCA) framework enabled by IDC.

You may have already read about the positive business outcomes that cloud optimized organizations on average can achieve. You can download the IDC InfoBrief to get a good overview.

Looking at the other side of the coin, what are the traits that cloud optimized organizations share from a technological point of view? Well, typically, the most mature cloud organizations tend to use DevOps more aggressively; they have a higher propensity toward hybrid and multi-provider clouds, and exhibit higher appetite for microservices architectures and containers. Cloud optimized organizations are also more likely to consume cloud-based security and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Specifically, 84% of optimized cloud organizations expect to choose from multiple cloud providers. They want a robust cloud strategy and they deploy workloads across multiple clouds to meet their objectives: Different clouds for different crowds.

Interest in containers and microservices architectures is also very strong across optimized cloud organizations. Organizations with lower levels of cloud ‘maturity’ do not exhibit the same capabilities or appetite to acquire those capabilities. Regarding DevOps, we all know that (at least intuitively) it is a best practice …. but it was great to see adoption of DevOps methodologies so closely aligned with cloud optimized organizations.

As always, it is not just about technology. Cloud optimized organizations also have solid governance practices in place with strong alignment between business and IT stakeholders. Other barriers that organizations often need to overcome include:

  • Line of business (LOB) and Information Technology (IT) misalignment
  • Insufficient monitoring, measurement and management tools for ‘hybrid IT’ environments
  • Potential processes, procedures, and skills gaps
  • Best placement of applications across multiple cloud deployment models
  • Integration with existing IT footprint

IoT and security applications delivered from cloud environments are contributing to the growth of the cloud market. At first, it is counterintuitive, because security is one of the major barriers to hybrid cloud adoption. And yet, as organizations mature in their use of cloud services, they tend to consume more security solutions delivered from the cloud. (see also my previous blog on the topic).

From an anecdotal point of view, our customers have shared with us similar perspectives: Cloud-based IoT applications rank high in the list of priorities that they have, second only to PaaS:

Source – Cisco BCA Adoption Report respondents N = 582

I will be discussing some of these topics during a breakout session at Cisco Live! next week bright and early on Monday morning. My intent is to discuss the Cisco Business Cloud Advisor framework and how you can take advantage of this data driven, IDC-enabled framework in conjunction with the capabilities that our partner community has to offer. Stop by and share with us your challenges!

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