Cloud Maturity Model – Go from ‘Cipher’ to ‘Optimized’ Cloud Transformation


By Pramod Alluri posted 08-30-2022 05:02 PM


While most organizations want to take some or all of their applications to the cloud, many are finding it a challenge to navigate that journey.  

Fortunately, there is a stepwise formula that is prototyped for successful cloud transformation that can help organizations navigate to the cloud seamlessly and adopt changes that it brings to a business, technology, processes, and people.  

What is Cloud Maturity Model? 

Cloud Maturity Model is a framework for various stages of adopting cloud services from both technology and business perspectives. It is a roadmap that can help organizations to identify their current ‘cloud’ state and highlights the next destination on their cloud migration journey. 

Capgemini launched the Cloud Maturity Model, and it is maintained by Open Alliance for Cloud Adoption. It also instituted a multidirectional approach for CIOs and CTOs to not only assess the technical and non-technical capabilities of the cloud but also to derive a definitive strategy to succeed in cloud transformation. 

Even though cloud transformation can be a different process for every business, the cloud maturity model can help them to find out possible roadblocks in their individual use case and walk them through to the next level of cloud maturity. 

Here are the six levels of the cloud maturity model that most organizations go through when they begin cloud migration: 

 Cloud Maturity Model Level 0 – Legacy  

This level describes a scenario where no cloud applications are deployed within an organization. The company shows major dependence on legacy applications with no definitive plans to deploy and integrate cloud services into its operations. 

This level of cloud maturity model indicates no approach to cloud and zero elements of cloud services integrated across almost all business operations. 

There can be various reasons why a company is at this level of cloud maturity. Primarily, it is because of limited awareness about the capabilities of cloud services, which ultimately reflects in low confidence towards investing in cloud transformation.  

Cloud Maturity Model Level 1 – Initial or Ad hoc 

Any company can be said to be at this level when it has already been acquainted with the cloud in very limited areas of business operations. Most companies resort to cloud services as SaaS (Software as a Service) as and when required, however, there is still a significant level of dependence on legacy systems. 

This level of maturity can be identified in an organization when legacy systems and very few cloud-migrated systems, both exist in its ecosystem. Sometimes, the company might also have assessed and mapped its existing systems for cloud integration, yet it lacks an actual roadmap to cloud migration. 

Primary reasons why some companies are stuck at this level include poor support from executive management, aversion to making huge investments in the cloud, and simply, the absence of proper direction which is a must for successful cloud migration.  

Cloud Maturity Model Level 2 – Repeatable, Optimistic 

Any organization with this level of maturity has a system set in place for how, when, and who can utilize various cloud computing services to carry out some pre-defined business operations.  

Companies that fall in this category of cloud maturity level have repeatable processes for introducing cloud services and show the existence of cloud technology in some business capabilities with scope for improvement. 

However, despite being opportunistic, these companies lack a systematic and definitive approach to utilizing cloud technology efficiently. They are probably using cloud services in a redundant manner, lacking a disciplined and systematic approach to uniformed success in cloud migration. In some cases, poor acceptance of cloud migration is gravely prevalent.  

Cloud Maturity Model Level 3 – Defined and Systematic 

At this level, companies must have set up different processes to administrate as well as manage their subscriptions to cloud service through an external service provider or a vendor. Such cases reflect a cloud approach that is not only repeatable and opportunistic but also systematic in terms of business operations and technology perspectives. 

These businesses have documented policies set in place for managing a cloud infrastructure. All the processes are functionally analyzed and monitored, and users normally comply to these processes for expanding their cloud maturity. 

Diagram: Cloud Maturity Model – Levels



Cloud Maturity Model Level 4 – Measured and Measurable 

An organization that comfortably uses various cloud services in its daily operations can be said to be at level four of the cloud maturity model. The company is well-versed with public, private, as well as hybrid cloud infrastructures, and flexibly chooses the options in relevant operations throughout the organization. 

Cloud capabilities at this level should be measurable and then measured, with a cloud governance model in place. C-level executives of these organizations must always be in cloud management mode. They thoroughly understand the importance of constantly evaluating the end-to-end performance of processes and systems that utilize cloud services.   

Cloud Maturity Model Level 5 – Optimized  

The top level of cloud maturity is normally more aspirational than practical where all the cloud data and metrics are proactively optimized. The cloud services and systems are also maintained effectively to ensure complete accuracy and relevance across all organizational practices. 

Companies at this level must also constantly evaluate the potential of other systems available in the market to capitalize on the benefits of inter-cloud applications. They also possess the capability and agility to shift through different cloud services that may periodically suit diverse applications across the organization. 

The final level of cloud maturity is not impossible to achieve. It can be reached when an organization can acquire the most appropriate cloud elements and utilize them with utmost relevance while keeping abreast of constant changes in technology. 


What Should be the Next Step for You? 

CIOs or CTOs of organizations with the first or second level of cloud maturity are often inspired by executive support through investments and gradually increasing the confidence of management in cloud technology. However, they often make one common mistake while spearheading the mission. They are usually tempted to jump straight to level four or five to achieve speedy adoption of technology and implement cloud transformation. 

It is absolutely vital that you respect the importance of a systematic, sustainable, and focused shift in technology. The cloud maturity model can help immensely to prioritize organizational objectives at each level of cloud migration and then maneuver to the next level with organization-wide changes that are in line with organizational policies and strategies. 

At Datavail, we help clients to analyze their current stage on the cloud maturity model. Our highly experienced team and industry exposure can also make them ready for the change they need to implement to take it up from ‘cipher to ‘optimized’ level of cloud maturity. 

I recently delivered a presentation in which I discussed the maturity model in depth  – “Cloud Transformation – Changing Dynamics Along the Cloud Maturity Model”. I believe true transformation succeeds when people themselves transform and adapt to change.  Every role in the organization from technologists to leaders is required to embrace change for them to become “value creators”.  What does your organization need to consider as it progresses along this maturity model?  Has your organization considered the roles required as you progress from data center transformation to application stabilization, to supporting hybrid deployments before you modernize your applications? Click here to learn more.

Authored by:
Pramod Alluri, Vice President, Solutions and Delivery, Enterprise Applications, Datavail