Which comes first: Multi-cloud management maturity or IT excellence?

You’ve heard the popular causality problem, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?”

The dilemma comes from the fact that all chickens hatch from eggs, while all chicken eggs are laid by chickens.

After reading the recent ESG Research Insights Paper, Multi-cloud Management Maturity, Tangible Reasons Management Excellence Is Required in a Hybrid Computing World, I recalled the chicken and the egg conundrum. The survey made me wonder, which comes first–multi-cloud management maturity or IT excellence?

To answer that question, I took a closer look at ESG’s findings. They surveyed 600 IT decision makers (from enterprises with at least 1,000 employees) to determine their multi-cloud management maturity score. In other words, where did each organization fall in terms of how comprehensively they have implemented multi-cloud management? And once that was determined, what correlation did each organization’s maturity score have on their IT excellence?

Hybrid IT is real – and complexity is growing

The first statistic ESG shared was that hybrid IT is real, and it’s a growing problem for many organizations. Combining public cloud services with on-premises IT provides the flexibility and scalability many enterprises need to compete more effectively. Yet hybrid IT also introduces complexity, which can slow innovation and hinder management of global usage and costs.

According to the survey, the respondents use public cloud for nearly a quarter of their workloads – and the majority utilize multiple cloud service providers. They also retain on-premises workloads, with 37% running on traditional physical servers, 36% on VMs managed as traditional servers, and 27% on a private cloud. As you can imagine, running workloads in so many different places can easily create complexity, actually inhibiting business success instead of enabling it.

Do you have what it takes to be transformed?

To determine maturity status, ESG asked questions about IT business processes and outcomes, segmenting the respondents into four different tiers of multi-cloud management maturity. The intent of the research was to identify organizations ESG considered Transformed– those that enjoy a high degree of success in a hybrid environment. ESG also wanted to provide insights and actionable recommendations organizations can use try to achieve similar results.

According to this report, 15% of those surveyed have tamed hybrid IT complexity, achieving a maturity level that ESG calls Transformed cloud managers. They also found that 35% reached the second highest level, Automated. Another 35% achieved a Modernized designation, and rounding out the lowest level were the Unrealized organizations at 15%.

Benefits of multi-cloud management maturity

The report went on to explain the importance of multi-cloud management maturity for the enterprise: “Having the tools, processes, and technologies to effectively navigate this varied landscape should yield many benefits for the organization.”

ESG details four key benefits mature multi-cloud management provides to a transformed organization:

  • Improves IT standing with executive leaders

One of the biggest benefits of being a transformed organization is that business leaders view the IT function with a high level of esteem. This improved IT standing is because business executives believe superior IT agility (gained in the transformation) provides a competitive advantage and a positive impact on the company’s financial success.

  • Enables modern app development

Organizations that operate better in a multi-cloud world are also better able to support a modern development organization. Consequently, improved multi-cloud management correlates positively with better development outcomes.

  • Optimizes on-premises infrastructure operations

One of the clouds that organizations must manage is their on-premises private cloud. Not surprisingly, organizations that score higher in terms of multi-cloud management also operate their on-premises infrastructure more effectively and efficiently.

  • Increases more effective public cloud resourcing

Much like #3 above, it makes sense that transformed cloud managers and organizations also surpass their peers in terms of public cloud utilization. Obviously, more visibility and control provides IT with the data they need to make smarter cloud choices.

Multi-cloud management maturity – is it a cause or effect?

As I read the key benefits of a transformed multi-cloud management organization, I come back to my original question. Is multi-cloud management maturity a cause or an effect of IT excellence? As in the chicken and the egg question, which comes first?

According to ESG, “While correlation does not equate to causation, ESG believes that several dimensions of its multi-cloud management maturity model directly impact an IT organization’s infrastructure management capabilities.” So although multi-cloud management doesn’t necessarily cause IT excellence, it certainly does impact it – in a very positive way.

Organizations need to acknowledge the reality of a hybrid IT, multi-cloud environment – and work toward achieving a transformed maturity model along with IT excellence. And the good news is that it looks like the two complement each other quite nicely.

You can read the full report here: Multi-cloud Management Maturity, Tangible Reasons Management Excellence Is Required in a Hybrid Computing World. Let HPE help you simplify your hybrid cloud experience with modern technologies and software-defined solutions. Additionally, Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a HPE company, will work with your IT team to enhance learning, conquer cloud and accelerate your successful digital transformation.

About Gary Thome

Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.