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Chapter 3

Introducing the IDC Cloud Benchmarking Framework

To be successful in the cloud it is good practice for organizations to learn from successful peers. This can help build confidence, mitigate the risks, and help to outline expectations. To help enterprises determine where they currently are and gain visibility into how their peers are adopting cloud, IDC has created a cloud benchmarking framework with three stages of cloud experience:

  • Cloud Experimenters, that are at the beginning of their cloud journey
  • Cloud Optimizers, that have already gained experience in the cloud
  • Cloud Innovators, that are driving digital business transformation based on cloud

Figure 3: Three stages of cloud experience

Cloud Experimenters

Cloud Optimizers

Cloud Innovators

Source: IDC, 2021 Cloud Benchmark Survey, N=700

Cloud is mainstream and is emerging as a bedrock for building an IT foundation suitable for a digital enterprise. However, not all users are leveraging the cloud equally.

As part of IDC’s cloud benchmarking framework, cloud users are categorized in the 3 stages based on their cloud experience and usage as shown in Figure 4.

Source: IDC, 2021 Cloud Benchmark Survey, N=700 Source: IDC’s 2021 Cloud Benchmark Survey, N

A large portion of European cloud users (49%) are currently in the cloud optimizer category, which means they have already gained some experience in the cloud, but they still need to improve to move into the cloud innovator category.

Ultimately, to build a competitive edge, all organizations aspire to be Cloud Innovators. IDC’s research reveals that the Cloud Innovators have a mature, modern cloud foundation with the following hallmarks:

  • It has an agile, scalable, interoperable infrastructure ecosystem spanning edge to core to cloud.
  • It can support both modern business-critical applications and cloud-native applications on the same platform principles.
  • It has data pipelines on top of it allowing federated data at the application level.
  • It facilitates new ecosystem-based business models, operating models, and revenue streams.

IDC’s 2021 cloud benchmark survey clearly shows that cloud innovators are more likely to drive business outcomes from their cloud strategy than their less experienced peers. As illustrated in Figure 5, the 96% of cloud innovators that achieved positive business outcomes were able to:

  • Increase business and IT productivity
  • Lower the cost of IT
  • Improve their governance, security, and compliance posture
Source: IDC, 2021 Cloud Benchmark Survey, N=700

Not all organizations have the same maturity when it comes to achieving digital innovation with cloud. Where do you stand today? Complete this 10-question assessment to find out!