Cloud Maturity Model: A Guide for Your Organization

According to the Open Alliance for Cloud Adoption, the Cloud Maturity Model (CMM) answers the question “What should the journey to cloud and hybrid IT look like”. The goal is to analyze the current state and come up with a plan for implanting cloud technologies.

Organizations often mistake cloud adoption for a normal IT project that can be started and completed within a few months. However, the CMM model tells otherwise. Cloud technologies implantation is an ongoing journey of gap analysis based on an organization’s needs. The model assesses maturity from two perspectives: technical and non-technical. The technical perspective looks at an organization’s current cloud technologies or their absence while the non-technical view looks the ‘business use of the cloud’. This two-pronged approach helps to craft a path towards maturity that aligns business needs with the cloud technology investment.

Technical Capabilities

The technical capabilities assessment looks at more than a dozen domains the can affect efficiency, velocity, flexibility,  and quality of processes running on the cloud environment. The domains include IT architecture, applications, management tools, DevOps, Security, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, Data, Network, AI, IOT, configuration management and more.

Non-Technical Capabilities

The non-technical domains assessed in the CMM model include finance, organizational structure, culture, governance, skills of employees, procurement processes, and enterprise strategy.

Cloud Maturity Model Level Progression

The Open Alliance for Cloud Adoption describes 5 levels where an organization can find itself along the CMM progression path.

CMM 0: None

The first level is where an organization has no virtualized environment and is not looking to adopt cloud technologies for any number of reasons. The organization might be content with current infrastructure or there might be little no knowledge of what cloud technologies are or how they might be useful.

CMM 1: Initial/Ad Hoc

An organization that is at this stage of maturity still has most of its infrastructure running on local servers. However, some departments may have began experimenting with cloud technologies. Still, there is no coherent cloud strategy and there is not much support for cloud adoption at the executive level. The organization might also have conducted a cloud readiness assessment and areas that have the most potential to benefit from it have been identified.

CMM 2: Repeatable/Opportunistic

At this stage, the organization has already decided on an approach to cloud adoption and has implemented it opportunistically. By now, some benefits of cloud adoption are clear although there exists an overlap between the cloud and legacy technologies thus creating redundancy.

CMM 3: Defined/Systematic

By now, the affected departments have accepted the approach that has been agreed upon for cloud adoption. The organization has also setup systematic processes for ordering, controlling, and managing its cloud services. It also has risk and governance measures for its cloud services including those that ensure adherence to local regulations.

CMM 4: Measured/Measurable

At this stage, it’s the norm for the organization to use cloud-aware apps. There is data movement across different cloud applications including those on public, private, and hybrid platforms. What’s most notable here is the speed and quality of the use of the cloud.

CMM 5:  Optimized

An organization that has optimized its cloud infrastructure has all its service and application deployments automated. The organization proactively maintains its assets to ensure their relevance and correctness. The organization is continually looking to reduce its opportunity costs, improve functionality, hit carbon targets, improve time-to-market and other goals that indicate full cloud maturity.

Conducting a Maturity Assessment

When an organization wants to conduct a CMM assessment, the Open Alliance for Cloud Adoption recommends certain step to be performed. The first is the identification of business goals which can be varied. They might include growing or maintaining a flat-line business. In other cases, the business might want to stop hemorrhage through cost reductions.

The second step is the definition of use cases for CMM. An example of a use case is the integration of SaaS with on-premise back-office systems to improve reporting. The next step is to define the scope of the analysis which in turn determines the scopes to be assessed (technical and non-technical). Once the CMM analysis is done, gaps are identified, actions recommended including a discussion of the benefits and expected return on investment.

The Value of the CMM Framework

Adopting the CMM framework may mean different things depending on the nature of the organization being talked about. For a public institution, greater focus is on service delivery, gaining public trust, and increasing political value. Private institutions have objectives cantered around profitability; cost management, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and asset efficiency.

Either way, the CMM model provides allows the organization to understand the maturity level necessary to realize an organization’s set goals. Further, an organization can develop a roadmap of projects to undertake to progress towards maturity. Following the CMM model also maximizes the potential to achieve the targeted benefits of cloud adoption.

The Benefits of Cloud Maturity

An organization that passes through the 5 levels to attain cloud maturity accrues numerous benefits. The first is velocity, whereby the organization can quickly change and deploy services on the go. Cloud adoption also allows an organization to scale infrastructure rapidly based on real-time needs. With optimization, this happens in a cost-effective manner.

There is also shared responsibility between the organization and the cloud provider in taking care of the supporting environment. Normally, with local cloud storage, the organization must have engineers to ensure everything is running efficiently and securely. With cloud, some of the responsibility is abstracted away to the provider.

Reliance of SaaS also increases an organizations capability. Instead of developing features and functions in-house, the organization relies on offerings from third parties. When the organization adopts this across all its operations, the overall quality of output also increases.

Transcendent Software

Using the cloud maturity model, you can clearly see your organization’s current position as it seeks to maximize efficiency and resilience against disruptions. The assessment can be quite tasking and you may not know where to begin. At Transcendent Software, we can help you develop a maturity report together with recommendations on the path to take, including a project roadmap. You can schedule a free initial consultation with one of our team members here.