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4 Tips for Meaningfully Measuring an Organization Cloud Maturity Level

4 Tips for Meaningfully Measuring an Organization Cloud Maturity Level

For an organization to extract maximum value from its cloud investments, it’s not enough to merely implement cloud services. Organizations also need to reach a high level of maturity when using and managing their cloud services. Businesses operating at a high degree of cloud maturity are 27% more likely to report making tangible progress toward achieving their multi-cloud business goals than businesses operating at a low degree of cloud maturity, according to 2023 industry research by Forrester Consulting. There are typically about six basic maturity levels that organizations go through as they learn how to extract increasing value from their cloud investments. At lower stages of cloud maturity, organizations are focused on experimenting with the cloud and gaining confidence in the cloud’s utility. At higher stages of cloud maturity, organizations have fully embraced the cloud and know exactly how to take advantage of the cloud for their needs. Figuring out where an organization lies on the cloud maturity spectrum is typically something the organization figures out on its own. However, cloud maturity self-assessments are more complex and nuanced than they may seem. Let’s explore four key tips to keep in mind to meaningfully measure the maturity level of all of a business’s cloud investments:

  1. Measure maturity level for individual teams and services: Most businesses measure cloud maturity across the entire organization, which can help produce a high-level snapshot, but ultimately doesn’t produce particularly meaningful or actionable insights. The reality is that some teams and services are likely to be very mature, while others are still largely operating as they were pre-cloud. Thus, an organization may inadvertently mask both its highs and lows via averaging, and determine that it’s reached a moderate level of maturity. To get around this problem, it’s important to measure and report on the maturity level of individual teams and services.
  2. Don’t automatically define success as the highest maturity level: Many businesses are tempted to benchmark the maturity of their cloud services and teams against an absolute standard – and this standard is invariably the highest maturity level. However, not every business needs to strive for the highest level of cloud maturity in every area. Instead of applying a blanket standard, organizations should look at what level of maturity they actually need to attain to achieve their cloud goals. For example, if an organization assesses the maturity of a cloud product that is infrequently used, then that product likely does not need to reach the same level of maturity when it comes to automation as a cloud product that is the focus of rapid, ongoing iterations. Similarly, advancing cloud maturity can become an expensive financial proposition that doesn’t necessarily make good business sense. For example, businesses tend to get the biggest bang for their buck when they invest in products and services at relatively low maturity levels; thus, advancing beyond this sweet spot may be a nonstarter financially.
  3. Don’t equate a lower cloud maturity level with failure: If an organization discovers that many of its key products and services are at relatively low levels of cloud maturity, it can be disheartening. The business may even conclude that it is failing. But such a conclusion is antithetical to why a business should be assessing cloud maturity in the first place. A lower level of cloud maturity should never be viewed as a sign of failure. Rather, a lower maturity level opens the door to an introspective conversation about why the cloud maturity level is where it is, and whether it makes sense to work toward a higher level of cloud maturity. Moreover, measuring cloud maturity levels should not be a one-and-done assessment. Businesses should complete cloud maturity assessments periodically, so they are continuously revisiting if their cloud maturity level is where they want it to be.
  4. Assess cloud maturity through the lens of data protection and security: Businesses typically assess cloud maturity through a technology and financial lens. For example, how advanced is the cloud architecture and its many integrated cloud applications? How effectively is the cloud helping to reduce or contain IT spending? A less frequently utilized but equally important way to assess cloud maturity is focusing on data protection and security. Although cloud infrastructure is designed to provide unprecedented levels of flexibility, transparency, and collaboration for a business, cloud infrastructure is simultaneously designed to ensure that the business’s data is always protected and secure. Thus, businesses need to keep track of where they are with data protection and security on the cloud.

Being able to assess cloud maturity level is a foundational step toward extracting long-term value from every cloud investment. To meaningfully assess cloud maturity, businesses should be doing maturity assessments for individual teams and workloads, rather than aggregating and averaging maturity across the entire organization. Businesses also should avoid automatically defining success as the highest maturity level, should not equate a lower cloud maturity level with failure, and should assess cloud maturity through a data protection and security lens as well as a technology and financial lens.

To learn more about how to meaningfully measure cloud maturity, please check out Ippon’s in-depth white paper,Assessing the Maturity of Your Cloud Strategy.” Need more personalized support and guidance? Feel free to reach out to our cloud migration experts.


Post by Dennis Ruzeski
Jun 27, 2024 6:00:00 AM


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