A pandemic, geopolitical turmoil, and economic uncertainty in the past three years have challenged even the strongest organizations and put a premium on agility. The IT teams have shouldered much of the responsibility for dealing with this period of accelerated change.

Business innovation thinkers such as McKinsey, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review have weighed in on the impact of this shifting landscape and highlighted the need for new IT operational models. Amid rapid change, sequential operational processes can’t support the agility and innovation necessary to meet today’s business resilience and relevance needs. Organizations can no longer wait as operations move from one milestone to the next.

Leveraging Cloud Principles for Agility

IDC recently published an analyst report discussing the concept of applying a cloud operating model more broadly across an organization—looking to leverage principles that support agility in the cloud across the entire IT infrastructure—including both cloud and non-cloud infrastructures. Brandon Butler and Mark Leary, analysts from IDC, explained how adopting a cloud operating model mindset can improve consistency and agility throughout an organization.

According to Butler and Leary, the benefits of the cloud operating model are clear and, as such, increasingly finding acceptance in forward-looking organizations. But they emphasized that because the model is a new way of thinking, it may not be apparent precisely how to embark on this transformative journey. There is no broad prescription, and each organization’s next steps are different, driven by the current infrastructure, business objectives, and technology roadmaps.

IDC Report: The Cloud Operating Model

A cloud operating model will require a significant shift in the IT mindset. However, rather than considering cloud and on-premises environments as distinct entities, it’s essential to think about how their most advantageous features can be combined. That involves a cultural shift that embraces breaking down silos, promoting collaboration, and encouraging cross-functional innovation. IT teams will need new skills, tools, and processes to manage the new infrastructure, such as AIOps automation and agile development methodologies. During the transition to a cloud operating model, IT will need to integrate existing on-premises network management systems with new cloud management platforms.

So where do you start if you’d like to get cloud-like agility in your end-to-end IT infrastructure—even if it’s currently primarily on-premises?

Cisco can help.

Mapping Your Next Steps to a Cloud Operating Model

Cisco has created a fast and easy self-service tool as an essential first step on your journey toward an extended cloud operating model—one that can be applied to on-premises infrastructures and private cloud operations. The tool can help assess how well your key infrastructures embody the cloud operating model today, uncover the most significant opportunities, and highlight the next steps.

Using this web-based tool, you can evaluate your access network, WAN, data center, and data center networking infrastructures by answering four simple questions. The questions are aligned with core cloud principles and focused on your overall readiness—not specific technical deployments. You choose which infrastructures to assess. After each set of questions, you’ll be given a snapshot of how to move that domain further along the cloud operating model path.

Choose your path to a cloud operating model.
Figure 1: Choose your path to a cloud operating model

You can complete as many domains as you wish. At the end of the questions, you can request a full report with suggestions for each of your infrastructures and a more complete picture of opportunities.

The cloud operating model is a forward-looking strategic operational model that can help you better prepare for future business trends and disruptions. The Cisco Cloud Operating Model Readiness Assessment can help you find your path forward.


Start your journey to an extended cloud operating model now

Additional Resources:

To the Cloud and Beyond―A Comprehensive Model for Enhanced NetOps and User Experience


Daryl Coon

Cisco Customer Solutions Marketing