Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Open Web, Oracle

Cloud Expo: 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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
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 at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...