With all the hype and progress happening around cloud computing, we know that our infrastructure and operations professional clients are under pressure to have a cloud answer. This is causing some unproductive behavior and a lot of defensiveness. A growing trend is to declare victory – point to your virtual infrastructure where you can provision a VM in a few seconds and say, “See, I’m  a cloud.” But you aren’t, really. And I think you know that.

Being a cloud means more than just using server virtualization. It means you have the people, process, and tools in place to deliver IT on demand, via automation, are sharing resources so you can maximize the utilization of assets and are enabling your company to act nimbly. In our latest Forrester report we document that to be a cloud you need to have:

  • Standardized your most commonly repeated operating procedures.
  • Fully automated deployment and most routine management tasks.
  • Provided self-service access for internal users via a service catalog or portal. 
  • Made sure business units are sharing the same infrastructure.

And according to our analysis, very few – 5% – of enterprise IT ops teams today meet these requirements. We’ve documented a maturity path for organizations that help you get to this point but don’t expect to get there overnight. Our research shows it takes literally years to get cloud-ready.  This means you should begin investing now in cloud knowledge by experimenting with cloud infrastructures and cloud-in-a-box solutions to learn how clouds actually operate and what the delta is between where you are now and where you should aim to get. 

Christian Kane contributed to this report.