Why it (still) makes sense to assess your cloud maturity

by Paul Gysen - Cloud & IM Consulting Lead
| minute read

Maturity comes with experience, or so the saying goes. That’s why even organisations that have already begun their journey to the cloud - a qualification which likely applies to most organisations these days - can still benefit from a so-called Cloud Maturity Assessment. In fact, one might even argue that those organisations could benefit even more from it now that their often hard-won experience can also be taken into account.

In a not-so-distant past, Sopra Steria Benelux used to offer a Cloud Maturity Assessment service to both new and existing customers who hadn’t really started on their journey to the cloud yet. Or who’d only just started on that journey, usually on a modest scale. Nowadays, by contrast, most prospects and customers we meet have one or more cloud (ad)ventures behind them already: some of them went smoothly, others faced some hurdles along the way.

In the latter instance, the pains were usually due to strategic or operational failings, or to their perception of the endeavour as a mostly technical one. Or, in the worst-case scenario, to all those factors combined. In other words: either the customer migrated to the cloud with poor priority setting, or he migrated to the cloud not adequately prepared.

Cloud migration supports business transformation

Of the many reasons why a cloud migration project may fail to meet expectations, one sticks out in particular: approaching the project from a purely technological perspective. For even though cloud migration involves an important technology shift, you also have to take into consideration elements that bear little direct relation to the cloud technology itself, such as governance issues and organisational changes, an operating model shift, and a cultural overhaul.

Also, when you mainly focus on tactics and operations, you tend to forget that the key reason for migrating to the cloud is in fact a strategic one: business transformation. To achieve that transformation, a cloud migration project must also be considered from other perspectives such as strategy, organisation, and processes. The reasons being that in the course of such a project stakeholders’ responsibilities shift significantly, new skills are required and new ways of working need to be adopted.

Digital transformation manager

One example of a governance issue I like to cite here is the importance of having not only a digital transformation strategy in place but also having a dedicated transformation manager appointed who reports directly at the executive level. In other words: someone who doesn’t just take care of your transformation strategy on the side but fully assumes that crucial role within your organisation and is the focal point of alignment of all parties involved.

Then there are also organisational changes that need to be carefully managed, such as the changing relationship between business and IT. More specifically, on the business side, with the adoption of the DevOps culture, the developers gain a faster and larger role. Conversely, with the advent of the cloud, the traditional IT administrator role has begun to shift more towards that of operations and automation engineer: a significant evolution to a role that is far more creative and rewarding but also way more challenging.  

Invaluable cloud consulting service

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”, the great playwright Oscar Wilde famously wrote. As most organisations have by now gained their first experiences in dealing with the cloud, with varying degrees of success, at Sopra Steria too we have learned some valuable lessons. And we have often done so through those very same experiences, through projects we have delivered and experiences gathered from our clients.

More importantly still, via our cloud consulting services we are now in a uniquely valuable position to share those lessons learned with our customers. And that is exactly what you can expect from us when assessing your current cloud maturity: collecting a helicopter view on where you stand by diving into which benefits are reaped versus the expectations that were initially set; measuring the level of governance enforcement and DevOps cultural adoption inside your organisation; and, last but definitely not least, assessing your cloud resources consumption and optimising their financial cost.

After all, it’s never too late to get the next steps right!

Read more about our Cloud Maturity Assessment service