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The cloud is an opportunity for organizations to demonstrate their capabilities, become more agile, and gain efficiencies. For cloud providers, the need to demonstrate credibility is also essential. CenturyLink provides an example of this.


  • CenturyLink's decision to reference itself shows how cloud providers can demonstrate the viability of their offerings by actually being their own "customer." The transition has had a major impact on internal organizations in terms of communication, which has now become a higher priority.
  • Like many of its customers, CenturyLink had challenges with vendors that had not adapted their licensing policies to a cloud context. Applications with non-cloud-friendly licensing models would need to be re-factored with cloud-friendly technologies or potentially replaced.
  • CenturyLink discovered during the implementation that all applications needed at least some level of remediation or development. As a result, the anticipated quick-hit migrations were costlier than expected.

Features and Benefits

  • This case study highlights that vendors and their customer face the same cloud transformation challenges.
  • Learn about CenturyLink's journey to the cloud, both public and private.

Key questions answered

  • Why has CenturyLink chosen to deploy public and private cloud services?
  • What are the expected and unexpected benefits that CenturyLink has so far experienced?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

CenturyLink's journey to the cloud for more agility

  • Company overview
  • The business opportunity was twofold
  • CenturyLink's cloud migration plays an important part in its quest to become more agile
  • CenturyLink looked at cloud migration as a means to become its own reference customer
  • Culture and organization, as well as technology, had to change
  • Implementation and rollout
  • Targeting strategic applications
  • CenturyLink developed an application assessment process to identify a cloud migration approach
  • Assessing the outcome
  • Next moves

Lessons learned

  • Find small wins to create momentum and confidence
  • Ensure good lines of communication
  • Break down silos, and keep working at it
  • Ensure alignment with security from the start
  • Clean up your configuration management database (CMDB)
  • Pay attention to integration and latency requirements
  • Standardize
  • Adapt to inadequate licensing terms


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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