Enterprise Cloud Adoption Part I – Measuring Cloud Maturity

With such high levels of cloud adoption, it is inconceivable that any enterprise-class organisation is not using at least some cloud services. However, not all cloud deployments are equal and some organisations are realising more value from their investments than others.

HPE has developed a five-point scale to help businesses understand the maturity of their cloud deployments:

1. Ad-hoc: Cloud adoption remains fragmented and isolated without any form of unifying strategy.

2. Adapting: There is some evidence that a business is trying to bring their isolated cloud instances together.

3. Cloud-enabled: The company has an effective cloud operating model in place. Level 3 should be the minimum starting goal of every enterprise.

4. Optimised: Cloud usage is well-established and the business is optimising deployments to achieve greater value.

5. Maximised value: The organization has achieved best practice cloud operating model capability, as evaluated against peers and industry benchmarks.

The reality is that most organisations still have a lot of work to do before they will reach level 5.

What is preventing enterprises from achieving maturity?

HP’s maturity assessment matrix assesses eight domains: strategy and governance, security, operations, DevOps, data, applications, innovation and people. Any organisation reaching maturity level 3 will have achieved a good score across the majority of the domains, but one always seems to lag – people.

The problem with people

Strangely, most organisations know they have a people problem – but are unsure how to solve it. This is because there are several factors in play: change is often slow because embedded cultural factors work against digital transformation programs for instance. In other cases, senior management may not invest all of the time and resources required to enact lasting cultural and workforce change.

It’s also highly likely that the ongoing cloud skills shortage is playing a significant role in these problems too. Without domain-specific knowledge and experience, it is even harder to define strategies and change cultures.

A knock-on effect

A low score in the people domain has a disproportionate effect on cloud maturity. Without a solid basis in strategy, security operations and people, other domains – namely applications, innovation and data – will also suffer.

To improve cloud maturity (and maximise the value of investments) requires a structured approach to understanding your current capabilities. Indeed, it is only by understanding the factors that are hindering progress that you will be able to make progress and adopt the relevant best practices for greater success.

Again, HPE has some useful suggestions to help you get started:

Align around a common language – cut through the confusion and internal barriers by building an organisation-wide framework to communicate priorities, align around goals, and exchange ideas.

Benchmark against best practice – You don’t always have to blaze a trail initially – take time to benchmark your capabilities against your industry’s leaders.

Measure progress – Cloud technologies and best practices are constantly evolving, so you need a way to measure progress towards attainment – and the shifting goalposts.

Identify your blind spots – Be careful that your transformation initiatives are scoped according to the cloud industry, not the knowledge of your planners. If your people don’t know what they don’t know, your strategy will be unbalanced, delivering less than optimal results.

Cloud adoption is essential to your IT strategy, but it needs to be implemented correctly to achieve your goals and contain costs. To learn more about how your enterprise can build a framework that delivers true transformation, please get in touch.

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