Strategic Advisor

Find the Right Path with a Multi-Cloud Maturity Assessment

Cloud adoption is not just about technology

Our CTO, Kit Colbert, recently pointed out the Top Five Mistakes Companies Make When Adopting Multi-Cloud. The first mistake Kit pointed out in his blog post was “Jumping in without a comprehensive plan.” He is right — successfully adopting a cloud strategy requires more than just great technology. Enterprises need to align their cloud vision, strategy, and processes to extract value from any cloud transformation journey.

Such a journey typically includes defining the right business goals, defining a supporting cloud strategy, developing a business case, establishing the right roles, responsibilities, and processes, enabling staff, and selecting the right tools. Only if all these aspects are incorporated into a clear plan are organizations able to fully leverage the potential that cloud technologies offer.

The VMware Multi-Cloud Strategy and Architecture Team is an advanced group of cloud field experts who have supported hundreds of customers and partners globally on their cloud journey. Together with key contributors from the VMware Office of the CTO, we developed the VMware Multi-Cloud and App Maturity Model (MCAM).

MCAM is an integrated approach to improving the customer cloud journey based on the expert know-how and experience that the team has accumulated over the years. The goal is to help drive the successful adoption and cloud technologies and services. It starts by helping users define the desired future state of their respective organizations. Through a holistic assessment of an organization’s current-state cloud and modern apps maturity, a model creates a gap analysis of areas to improve in, as well as recommendations that help close the maturity gaps upon execution.

Figure 1: VMware Multi-Cloud and App Maturity Model (MCAM) screen capture.

Assessing the customer organization holistically

There is not a shortage of cloud maturity assessments. Many of these are, however, very high-level and only ask for the current state of an organization’s journey, falsely implying that all organizations have the same goals. In reality, not all organizations strive to be 100% cloud-native, with all workloads sitting in the public cloud and implemented via cloud-native technologies or micro-services. In fact, most organizations are now following a more differentiated, cloud-smart strategy. Any viable cloud maturity assessment needs to take these specific goals into account.

The MCAM assessment includes a set of 30 questions across different domains and queries the current and desired future level of maturity. For that, each question includes five answer options representing maturity stages from 1 (low) to 5 (high). The answers are based on real-world examples and maturity stages in organizations.

This prescriptive approach with pre-defined answer options makes MCAM simple enough to be used without requiring technical expert domain expertise. The low-touch technique is important to remove barriers to entry to starting the maturity assessment, to begin with.

Based on the inputs, MCAM calculates the current and target maturity across six domains and identifies the areas with the largest gaps. Areas that MCAM assesses are the following:

  1. Cloud Vision and Strategy
  2. Business Outcomes and Goals
  3. Leadership, Governance, and Processes
  4. People, Tools, and Enablement
  5. Applications and Development
  6. Infrastructure, Data, and Platforms
Figure 2: MCAM Assessment questions and pre-defined answers

Identify areas that require attention

It is important to assess all layers of any given cloud journey, ranging from strategic and high-level aspects through execution, all the way to the operational layers. We have seen many corporations where cloud adoption was driven bottom-up through shadow IT, resulting in severe governance challenges, cost explosions, or lack of important tactical considerations such as a cloud exit strategy and others.

In other situations, C-level executives have defined a clear cloud-first strategy with specific goals, but the organization failed to execute that strategy and lacked important pillars like a Cloud Center of Excellence or the right people, processes, and technologies.

With MCAM, we make the critical areas visible through a detailed gap analysis and a heatmap. This gives all stakeholders an instant view of where to focus attention and resources to successfully advance on the cloud journey.

Figure 3: MCAM Gap-analysis and heatmap

Output and recommendations

Even when gaps and challenges are known within the organization, it does not automatically lead to actions being taken to address them or even agreement on the right steps. Beyond the obvious benefit of having an instant overview and dashboard across all domains involved in the cloud journey, MCAM also delivers a complete report with detailed recommendations on how to close these gaps.

The recommendations are based on many years of cross-team expert experience with what a successful cloud journey looks like. And it follows a simple logic: Organizations should establish the right skills and resources in-house wherever possible, and low gaps can typically be solved through free resources or limited external support. Significant gaps, on the other hand, will almost inevitably require support and advice from experts outside the organization. Overall, we want to spend the available budgets wisely and on the areas where structural change and improvement will lead to the highest impact.

Start using MCAM today

MCAM is free and available online for customers and partners to use. Whether your cloud strategy is on- or off-premises based, VMware or hyperscaler cloud-oriented, or as with most organizations, a mix of these strategies toward a cloud-smart multi-cloud future — an assessment with MCAM will help you take the necessary steps in the right order.

For easy accessibility, MCAM is available in English, Spanish, Japanese and simplified Chinese. We walk through the details of MCAM and how to use it in a recent Feature Friday podcast session. Try the VMware Multi-Cloud and App Modernization Maturity Model out for yourself today and start advancing on your cloud journey.

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