The recently released Cisco Global Cloud Index study predicts that by 2021, 94 percent of all workloads and compute instances will be processed in the cloud. Public cloud is expected to grow faster than private cloud and by 2021 the majority share of workloads and compute instances will live in the cloud. Many organizations are expected to adopt a hybrid approach to cloud as they transition some workloads and compute instances from internally managed private clouds to externally managed public clouds.


While Cloud represents incredible opportunity for organizations, the cloud services provider (CSP) market continues to be very competitive. CSPs are increasingly focused on specialization and differentiating themselves through their core services portfolio as well as their vertical specific offerings.

CIOs and CTOs are therefore faced with having to determine the right mix of cloud services and integrating the selected services into their existing IT portfolio. Multicloud adoption is a journey and it is one that can be met with numerous challenges.

Below are the 7 common cloud adoption challenges we have observed and strategies to overcome each.


  • Adopt a common architectural framework that provides a common language between business and IT
  • Think in terms of the city analogy – establish a governance model that will drive appropriate consideration of multiple perspectives
  • Align investment decision making so that architectural impact is considered



  • Plan for changes in your operating model
  • Consider changes based on the Cisco Operating Model Transformation Map
  • Execute changes across five key streams
    • Image of Success
    • Change Leadership
    • Metrics
    • Roles & Responsibilities
    • Costing



  • Shift from traditional waterfall funding methods to more agile funding processes
  • Understand the TCO for existing and future services
  • Develop an understanding of potential cloud providers’ cost structure
  • Understand what hardware internal services are currently running on ANDwhere that equipment is in the lifecycle
  • Develop a single pain of glass view that showcases current cloud consumption



Your cloud strategy must deliver the right operational and financial outcomes:

  • Understand and align business and IT priorities
  • Develop appropriate prioritization / sequencing
  • Build the value case for your proposed approach
  • Create an implementation plan that delivers incremental value rapidly
  • Validate value achievement


  • Maintain an architectural perspective
  • Align Technology to the Business Needs
  • Technical Agility Creates Business Agility
  • Optimize Tactical Technical Decisions into Strategic Technical Architecture
  • Over-engineering vs. no engineering, choose carefully
  • Fail Fast to Win Quick and be ready to adjust
  • Include a Continuous Improvement Model through a project based Feedback Loop



  • Make sure you are aligned to your “why” and can assess options based on value
  • Invest the time to create a migration strategy that contemplates options and tradeoffs rather than just lifting and shifting
  • Invest some effort to understand or validate your current environment
  • Understand the elements of a services approach and consider what you can adopt




  • Ensure your change management plan includes a description of the new value delivery model
  • Paint a picture of the future state that is broadly understood throughout the organization
  • Define and share new roles and responsibilities
  • Anticipate the impact of automation on previous processes and plan for the migration of resources to higher value efforts
  • Publicize the successful shifting of people to new (and more valuable) roles


Organizations may encounter the need for one, some or all of these strategies based on their adoption roadmap.

While challenging, when done right, the rewards of an optimized cloud strategy are real and measurable:




Cisco Cloud Advisory Services can help organizations navigate through these challenges and establish an actionable multicloud strategy.


Learn more about how to accelerate and de-risk your multicloud journey by contacting your Cisco account manager.

Find out more about Cisco Cloud Advisory and Cisco Multicloud Solutions at: www.cisco.com/go/multicloud.



Grimt Habtemariam

Director of Global Routes to Market Acceleration

Global Partner Sales and Routes to Market