Click here to close now.

Welcome!

@MicroservicesE Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Rex Morrow, Datical

Related Topics: CloudExpo® Blog, Java IoT, @MicroservicesE Blog, @ContainersExpo Blog, Release Management , Recurring Revenue

CloudExpo® Blog: Article

Know Your Road Map for IT Maturity in the Age of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has created two major sets of expectations, which are worth a critical look

Are you suffering from double vision in your IT? As odd as it sounds, this is a common occurrence. Line-of-business (LOB) stakeholders often use a different set of criteria to measure IT than IT uses to measure itself. This can lead to a kind of "double vision"that can hurt IT prospects. A cloud-centric IT maturity model is a useful tool for evaluating present IT capabilities and planning future growth. It is increasingly being used to establish present and future success criteria for IT in a common language understood by all parties. In this article, we will discuss three essential dimensions of IT maturity and how they can be applied to help IT decision makers achieve their goals.

The Double Vision
Cloud computing has created two major sets of expectations, which are worth a critical look:

  1. IT-centric View of Cloud: Historically, many CIOs and IT professionals, perhaps led by the traditional capability-based IT maturity models suggested by IT-focused analyst firms, have believed that managing and improving IT infrastructure, costs, agility, IT service quality, etc., are the primary measures of IT success. When cloud technology became available, they started expecting cloud to be a way to accelerate the achievement of these goals. But this may be a myopic view of how cloud technology will impact the enterprise. We call this the "IT-centric view."
  2. Business-centric View of Cloud: In contrast, business stakeholders, such as LOB owners, and business CXOs (e.g., CEO, CFO, CSO, COO), have desired solutions that improve business flexibility and speed, reduce business operating costs and create better business differentiation. Such solutions may include management, automation and optimization of business processes, services, activities, transactions, and end-user experiences, examples of which are shown in the Business Value Stack. When cloud technology became available, these business stakeholders started expecting cloud to be a way to deliver highly innovative, flexible, competitive and cost effective business solutions that could be leveraged by both internal business users as well as by enterprise end customers and partners creating significant business advantages for the enterprise. In addition, business stakeholders expected IT to directly or indirectly supply these business-centric cloud-based solutions to help them attain the desired business benefits. In the business stakeholders' view, IT success should be measured in terms of its ability to directly and readily address these business improvements. For them, improvements to IT itself are neither enough nor interesting. We call this the "business-centric view."

Based on the above, we can conclude the following key points:

  • IT and business owners have different views and expectations of cloud technologies.
  • Cloud is expected to transform both IT and business, and IT is expected to play a major role.
  • Business stakeholders use a different set of criteria to measure IT than IT uses to measure itself. Cloud related expectations may amplify this difference.
  • Cloud is changing the traditional role of IT, and its success measures.

Even though both IT-centric and business-centric views of IT are acceptable in their own ways, they can cause double vision for IT. If this issue is not resolved it can lead to conflicts and confusion with respect to IT's roles, goals, strategies and priorities, which can potentially lead to IT failure.

This double vision can be resolved if IT can: clearly see the business-centric view described above; fully understand the value it needs to deliver to the business; recognize the role it needs to play; and use the success measures used by business stakeholders.

Need for a New IT Maturity Model
A new IT maturity model is needed to help IT reconcile and resolve the double vision, and to guide both IT and business organizations through cloud-led transformations and beyond.

To address these needs, we have identified the following major requirements for this new model:

  1. It must be based on the value IT delivers to the business (and not on internal IT capabilities).
  2. It must focus on the type and maturity of solutions IT supplies to the business (as opposed to maturity levels of IT's own tools, people, processes or projects).
  3. This model must fully take into account the impacts of modern technologies, like cloud computing, that are driving the transformations of IT and business organizations across industries.

A New IT Maturity Model (Value-based)


This model consists of three categories, or "maturity dimensions," with the following key aspects:

  • How the IT organization is viewed by the business (IT's own view may differ)
  • Business value of IT, as perceived by the business stakeholders
  • Type of solutions IT is expected to supply to the business
  • Examples of key solution areas

Using This Model
An IT organization is considered mature in a specific dimension when it becomes a trusted supplier of solutions required in that dimension; they may also achieve maturity in more than one dimension at any point in time.

A key difference between a capability-based model and the value-based model is that some IT organizations may not fit under any of the three dimensions in the value-based model. This situation arises when according to business stakeholders IT is not providing effective solutions. This highlights a key advantage of the value-based model as it helps IT leaders recognize and proactively address circumstances where business leaders may be losing confidence in IT. In addition, it enables IT to more effectively stay apprised of business leaders' needs, resulting in a win-win for both groups.

The latest version of this maturity model and other supplementary content is available here.

The Three Dimensions of IT
Infrastructure-centric IT

These IT organizations are expected to supply effective infrastructure-centric solutions to business stakeholders, often delivered in the form of a cloud with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and/or as virtualized datacenters. These solutions alone support business improvements indirectly. They are rarely capable of directly addressing improvements and automations across business applications, processes, services, transactions, activities or end-user experiences. This is why business stakeholders frequently rate the business value of an infrastructure-centric IT organization fairly low.

Application-centric IT
These IT organizations are expected to fully understand business-centric needs and usage of business applications, and supply effective platform and application automation solutions. These solutions typically enable the management, automation and optimization of business applications, including packaged apps, custom apps, composite apps, highly modular apps, cloud-only apps, or special purpose apps such as mobile apps, Big Data apps, and social apps. To be fully effective, these solutions may also require IT to drive appropriate levels of integration, customization, configuration or personalization. These solutions are typically delivered through various models, such as private, public, hybrid or community clouds with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or with application component-based services such as Middleware, Database, Testing or other such services offered in the XaaS model. Since almost all internal and external business users of an enterprise directly or indirectly use business applications, the business value of application-centric IT is generally rated to be at the medium level.

Business-centric IT
These IT organizations fully understand short and long-term business challenges and are expected to supply effective business improvement, automation and optimization solutions, and help drive business innovations, business differentiation and competitive advantages. Many of these solutions are capable of fully leveraging the most appropriate combination of technologies that are best for the business problem they are solving. Examples of such technologies include business process management, business activity management, business transaction management, business intelligence, business analytics, business-centric collaboration, mobile or social networking technologies, and the right set of delivery models including private, public, hybrid or community clouds. These business-centric solutions, typically created through collaboration between IT and business organizations, are designed to directly address improvement, management, automation and optimization of business processes, services, transactions, activities, etc. This is why the business-centric IT organizations are awarded the highest level of business value.

Key Points to Note About This Model
Model is three-dimensional

Each dimension represents a specific type of value, and a corresponding set of solutions. Although the solutions across all three dimensions are interrelated, the three dimensions themselves are neither sequential, nor incremental, nor dependent on each other. Each dimension independently reflects IT maturity within that specific value area, and the model does not imply a roadmap for transitioning from one dimension to another.

Value-based approach
In contrast to traditional "capability"-based models, this is a "value"-based model. This model focuses on the external value of the solutions that IT supplies to the business stakeholders, as opposed to traditional models that primarily focus on IT's operational capabilities (capability maturity) with respect to IT's own internal tools, technologies, processes, people and projects.

In this value-based approach, the value of IT is determined directly by the business stakeholders based on the effectiveness of solutions IT provides to the business. This is called the "business value of IT".

Solution-centric approach
This model is constructed to explicitly focus on the solution-related aspects of IT. In each dimension, IT is expected, and required, to supply a very specific and distinct set of solutions required in that dimension. It is assumed that IT is capable of, and effectively uses, all internal IT tools, technologies, people and processes, as needed for that specific dimension. But these IT capabilities are not explicitly referenced in the model because they are not part of the value-based or solution-centric success measures of IT.

Model is time-based
At any given time, an IT organization may have different levels of maturity in each dimension. A 3D IT maturity map can be created by independently plotting the maturity level of an IT organization in each of the three dimensions. IT maturity levels of an IT organization or its inclusion in a specific dimension may change over time as organizations transform, solutions change or value measures change.

Focus is on business and business stakeholders
In each dimension, IT is expected to supply business-centric solutions that provide significant value to business stakeholders - which include business CXOs, line-of-business owners (VP Sales, VP Marketing, VP HR, VP Finance, VP Mfg, VP Support, etc.), internal business operations staff, and end customers and partners.

Success measure is the business value of IT
In this model, IT's level of success, and IT's level of maturity within a dimension, are measured only in terms of the of value of the solutions that IT supplies to the business, i.e., the business value of IT. It is foreseeable that IT may have its own view regarding the business value of IT, but only the value receiver, i.e., the business stakeholders, can (and should) assess the business value of IT. Internal IT maturity aspects related to IT's own internal use of IT technologies, people and processes are neither weighted nor factored in the success measure. Tying the IT success to only a single external measure (i.e., the business value of IT) removes the possibility of double vision.

IT is in charge, but solutions can come from any source
In each dimension, IT is expected to understand and act in accordance with the business objectives, requirements and priorities that are specifically applicable to that dimension. Then, they can identify and implement the most effective structure and delivery models for the required solutions - whether they are built internally by the IT organizations, or acquired from external vendors, built through outsourcing to third parties, or acquired from external service providers, like public clouds, or developed directly by the business units themselves, or through any combination of these means and delivery models such as private, public, hybrid or community clouds, or physical and/or virtual and/or hosted, and/or on-demand, and/or outsourced datacenters.

IT Maturity is Pre-Requisite for Cloud Maturity
A business-centric IT organization is in the best position to deliver a complete and mature cloud solution with high-business value. The following figure relates the three value-based dimensions of the IT maturity model to the three major types of clouds. Additional information on Cloud Maturity is available here.

Conclusion and Recommendation
This value-based maturity model of IT can be a very important tool to guide CIOs and business CXOs if their goal is to increase the strategic value of IT within the enterprise and across enterprise customers and partners.

CIOs should be asking: To what extent does your IT organization focus on improving business value of IT as opposed to improving IT's own tools, processes, people and projects? Do your business stakeholders fully trust and rely on IT for highly effective application-centric and business-centric solutions? Are you regularly polling your business stakeholders?

Business CXO, or a LOB owner, should ask the following questions: What business value does your IT organization actually deliver? What solutions provided by your IT organization deliver high business value? Have you clearly communicated all these to IT?

This value-based IT maturity model can be a framework for such discussions.

This article introduced the new value-based IT maturity model. Information on how to put this model to work and other related content is available here.


The views expressed in this article are those of Jay Parekh and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle or any previous employer.

More Stories By Jay Parekh

Jay Parekh is currently Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Oracle responsible for the overall strategy and architecture of Oracle’s enterprise management solutions including cloud management, data center management, application management, support and service management, and business value management. Prior to Oracle, he was Chief Strategy Officer at BMC. Jay holds Masters in Computer Science from University of Michigan. Additional background on Jay can be found at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jayparekh

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Databricks, discussed how the zero management cost and scalability of the cloud is addressing the challenges and pain points that data engineers face when working with Big Data. He also s...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Software development, like manufacturing, is a craft that requires the application of creative approaches to solve problems given a wide range of constraints. However, while engineering design may be craftwork, the production of most designed objects relies on a standardized and automated manufacturing process. By contrast, much of moving an application from prototype to production and, indeed, maintaining the application through its lifecycle has often remained craftwork. In his session at Dev...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseDB (EDB), the leading worldwide provider of enterprise-class Postgres products and database compatibility solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EDB is the largest provider of Postgres software and services that provides enterprise-class performance and scalability and the open source freedom to divert budget from more costly traditiona...
I read an insightful article this morning from Bernard Golden on DZone discussing the DevOps conundrum facing many enterprises today – is it better to build your own DevOps tools or go commercial? For Golden, the question arose from his observations at a number of DevOps Days events he has attended, where typically the audience is composed of startup professionals: “I have to say, though, that a typical feature of most presentations is a recitation of the various open source products and compo...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
This is the final installment of the six-part series Microservices and PaaS. It seems like forever since I attended Adrian Cockroft's meetup focusing on microservices. It's actually only been a couple of months, but much has happened since then: countless articles, meetups, and conference sessions focusing on microservices have been delivered, many meetings and design efforts at companies moving towards a microservices-based approach have been endured, and five installments of this blog series ...
Bill Doerrfeld at Nordic APIs has written today about how APIs are evolving the B2B landscape. This is a particularly interesting article for me, because my personal background is working for an EDI provider, where I linked EDI processes from the private network to the Internet, over 15 years ago. Vordel was founded to allow new Web Services APIs to be used for B2B. Axway, a B2B software company, acquired Vordel in 2012 to link B2B with Web APIs. This caused a domino effect, with other API Manag...
There is no question that the cloud is where businesses want to host data. Until recently hypervisor virtualization was the most widely used method in cloud computing. Recently virtual containers have been gaining in popularity, and for good reason. In the debate between virtual machines and containers, the latter have been seen as the new kid on the block – and like other emerging technology have had some initial shortcomings. However, the container space has evolved drastically since coming on...
Python is really a language which has swept the scene in recent years in terms of popularity, elegance, and functionality. Research shows that 8 out 10 computer science departments in the U.S. now teach their introductory courses with Python, surpassing Java. Top-ranked CS departments at MIT and UC Berkeley have switched their introductory courses to Python. And the top three MOOC providers (edX, Coursera, and Udacity) all offer introductory programming courses in Python. Not to mention, Python ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
It's 2:15pm on a Friday, and I'm sitting in the keynote hall at PyCon 2013 fidgeting through a succession of lightning talks that have very little relevance to my life. Topics like "Python code coverage techniques" (ho-hum) and "Controlling Christmas lights with Python” (yawn - I wonder if there's anything new on Hacker News)...when Solomon Hykes takes the stage, unveils Docker, and the world shifts. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the video of Solomon's Pycon The Future of Linux C...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...