Understanding Your Cloud Adoption Maturity Level

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App Dev Manager Jon Guerin shares insights into Cloud Adoption Maturity with companies planning their digital transformation.


In my Application Development Manager role at Microsoft working with customers migrating workloads to Azure, I often see them struggle with adopting cloud technologies. Most often the reason is not related to the cloud technologies, but the strong beliefs and well-established processes enterprises have mastered supporting on premises capabilities. Migrating to the cloud however requires companies to adopt a different approach and failing to establish a plan and framework for adoption can lead to taxing implementations. To be successful an enterprise must address people, process and technology when adopting the cloud. I often witness organizations migrating to Azure focus primarily on the cloud technologies and fail to assess their current maturity readiness.

We find enterprises fall into one of three stages in their cloud adoption maturity level, Foundational adopter, Intermediate adopter and Advanced adopter. Conducting a cloud maturity assessment is a recommended first step to identify an enterprise’s current adoption stage. A cloud maturity assessment exercise will cover the people, process and technology aspects to design a plan to advance the entire organization up the maturity model as quickly as possible reducing risk and uncertainty.

In the Foundational stage the organization begins its cloud transformation journey. Organizations in this stage are still envisioning the cloud. Their drivers for moving to the cloud may be a business need, for example to vacate a data center, or driven by a shadow IT business division for cost reduction, or competitive pressure and other business reasons. A key success factor in this stage is having clearly defined business reasons for moving to the cloud. In this foundational stage the customer has very little knowledge about Azure services and benefits and as such requires a great deal of education, guidance and direction.

In the Intermediate adopter stage, the enterprise is knowledgeable in Azure and has already migrated some non-critical workloads to Azure. However, they still may lack confidence to move business critical and production workloads into Azure. They usually have partially trained staff and several Azure champions or possibly a shadow IT unit who has been using Azure for some time independent of central IT.

In the Advanced adopter stage, the organization has been running workloads in Azure for some time and is now focused on optimization activities.

Although each customer cloud transformation is unique there are some common challenges, they must overcome in each adoption stage as depicted in the following table.

In conclusion enterprises should initiate an assessment of its People, Process and Technology strategies to formulate a framework for successful cloud acceptance. This framework should also address some key quality pillars including scalability, resiliency, availability, security and DevOps. Microsoft Services Developer Support can assist your organization in developing this framework reducing your risk in cloud adoption. Your Application Development Manager can help you with technology adoption, process excellence and reference architectural decisions to accelerate your cloud adoption.

 

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