Tuesday, July 2, 2024

HashiCorp State of Cloud Strategy Survey 2024: Forrester’s key recommendations

In addition to the insights shared in the 2024 HashiCorp State of Cloud Strategy Survey we released last week, Forrester Consulting — commissioned by HashiCorp to conduct the survey — has created a thought leadership paper that details its key findings and recommendations.

The Forrester recommendations build on some of the survey’s most telling findings: that only 8% of almost 1,200 global enterprise respondents qualified as highly cloud mature. And while those trailblazers are already enjoying the promised benefits of the cloud, low-maturity organizations continue to struggle for cloud success.

Forrester’s guidance directs organizations to work on upskilling their cloud teams, focus on multi-cloud efforts, and tackle their wasted cloud spend with policies and tools. In addition, the paper states that it is critical to solidify cloud security efforts, and that organizations should cautiously experiment with generative AI as a way to help many different parts of their cloud program.

This blog post reviews Forrester’s key findings and recommendations, and the thought-leadership paper is free to download at hashicorp.com/state-of-the-cloud.

Forrester’s key findings

These four areas are highlighted in the Forrester study:

  1. High-maturity organizations are focused on strategy and scaling their infrastructure and security practices. According to Forrester, highly cloud-mature organizations are establishing platform teams and adopting internal developer platforms (IDPs) while standardizing security and compliance practices across their entire digital estate. High-maturity organizations are also significantly more likely to state that their cloud infrastructure strategy helps achieve overall business goals, strengthens security, reduces risk, and simplifies compliance.
  2. Low-maturity firms are focused more on tactical considerations. Lower-maturity firms, meanwhile, appear more interested in budgets and bottom lines. The Forrester study says that’s worrisome because it indicates low-maturity firms are paying more attention to short-term cost-cutting than to long-term strategy.
  3. Skills shortages cause big problems at lower-maturity organizations. A lack of essential cloud skills is a universal challenge, but the problem is even worse for low-maturity firms. The shortage creates problems in many areas, especially in cloud security, Forrester notes.
  4. GenAI has the potential to play a critical role in the future of cloud strategy. Though GenAI remains in the early stages, many respondents believe it can help address critical cloud issues like security, skills, availability, and scalability. Forrester says organizations are already beginning to investigate how to use AI to bolster their cloud infrastructure and security efforts.

Forrester’s key recommendations

In addition to its key findings, the Forrester study also details five key practices organizations can follow to boost their cloud maturity and increase the odds of cloud success:

  1. Invest in upskilling. Forrester suggests prioritizing investment in modernizing practices like the centralized use of infrastructure as code and addressing skills gaps by training employees in cloud, cybersecurity, and GenAI applications. This approach can attract skilled developers enticed by the promise of working in a modern development environment.

  2. Enhance your multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategy. Organizations should embed flexibility into cloud solutions, Forrester says. The goal is to address the specific needs of the organization while still promoting scalability, improving security, and optimizing costs.

  3. Implement cloud cost optimization practices. To tackle the challenge of avoidable cloud spend (also known as cloud waste), Forrester recommends implementing cloud usage audits, auto-scaling, and leveraging tools for cost management. The study notes that making the effort to spread cost awareness and responsibility across teams can also help reduce cloud waste.

  4. Strengthen security measures. The 2024 State of Cloud Strategy survey makes it clear that security remains a top priority across all levels of cloud maturity. Forrester says organizations should solidify their security posture with advanced threat-detection systems, data encryption, regular security assessments, and making sure staff is up to speed on security best practices.

  5. Exercise caution but leverage GenAI for automation and innovation. Organizations should use GenAI technologies to alleviate staffing issues, enhance security, and foster innovation. Forrester recommends that organizations make it a strategic objective to train or customize AI to their specific environment to help address skill gaps. Finally, the study counsels caution on going all-in on AI too soon: GenAI may not be appropriate for many use cases, and that despite the hype, current AI solutions may not be ready for prime time.

These key findings and recommendations are just some of the invaluable insights in the Forrester Consulting study: Cloud Maturity Drives Business Success: Scale Cloud Infrastructure And Security Best Practices To Gain Competitive Advantage. You can download the paper free from the 2024 HashiCorp State of Cloud Strategy Survey microsite, at hashicorp.com/state-of-the-cloud, where you’ll also find full survey results and analysis, covering everything from cloud spending trends to the power of platform teams.

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