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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Operations / Security

Survey Says: Cloud Maturity Matters

HashiCorp’s 2023 State of Cloud Strategy Survey finds cloud-mature companies experience better business outcomes in terms of speed, risk and efficiency.
Jun 13th, 2023 6:20am by
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The third annual State of Cloud Strategy Survey, commissioned by HashiCorp and conducted by Forrester Consulting, focuses on operational cloud maturity — defined not by the amount of cloud usage but by adoption of a combination of technology and organizational best practices at scale.

The results were unambiguous: The organizations using operational best practices are deriving the biggest benefits from their cloud efforts, in everything from security and compliance to availability and the ability to cope with the ongoing shortage of critical cloud skills. High-maturity companies were more likely to report increases in cloud spending and less likely to say they were wasting money on avoidable cloud spending.

The seven headline numbers below capture many of the survey’s most important findings, and you can view the interactive State of Cloud Strategy Survey microsite for detailed results and methodology. Read on to learn more about our cloud maturity model and some of the key differences we found between high and low cloud-maturity organizations.

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of HashiCorp, February 2023

Our Cloud Maturity Model

To fully understand the survey results you need to know something about the cloud maturity model developed by HashiCorp and Forrester to describe where organizations are in their cloud adoption journey. HashiCorp commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey almost 1,000 technology practitioners and decision-makers from companies in a variety of industries around the world, primarily those with more than 1,000 employees.

Forrester asked about their use of best practices across technology layers including infrastructure, security, networking and applications, as well as their use of platform teams, and used that data to separate respondents into three tiers:

  • Low-maturity organizations, the lowest 25% or respondents, are experimenting with these practices.
  • Medium-maturity companies, the middle 50%, are standardizing their use of these practices.
  • High-maturity respondents, the top 25%, are scaling these practices across the entire organization.

How High-Maturity Organizations Are Different

Multicloud works better for highly mature companies. More than three quarters (76%) of high-cloud-maturity organizations say multicloud is helping them achieve their business goals, and another 17% expect it to within the next 12 months. That compares to just 60% of low-maturity respondents who say multicloud is working for them, while another 22% expect it to do so in the next year.

The Great Cloud Skills Shortage

“Skills shortages” is the most commonly cited barrier to operationalizing multicloud, and almost three quarters (74%) of high-maturity respondents say multicloud helps them attract, motivate and retain talent. That compares to less than half (48%) of low-maturity organizations who can say the same. Other large differences between the benefits experienced by high- and low-maturity respondents showed up in the areas of compliance and risk (80% to 56%), infrastructure visibility/insight (82% to 59%) and speed (76% to 59%). Also significant, 79% of high-maturity organizations report that their multicloud efforts have resulted in a stronger security posture, perhaps because working in multiple cloud environments can help organizations keep their security professionals engaged, and also be a forcing function toward more intentional oversight of their security operations.

Cloud Spending and Cloud Waste

Despite macroeconomic uncertainty, 62% of highly mature companies boosted their cloud spending in the last year. That compares to 56% of respondents overall and just 38% of low-maturity organizations. Yet even as they increased cloud spending, more than half (53%) of high-maturity respondents used multicloud to cut costs, compared to just 42% of low-maturity respondents.

Avoidable cloud spending remains high, with 94% of respondents reporting some degree of cloud waste (about the same as in last year’s survey). But the factors contributing to that waste differ notably: Low cloud-maturity firms, in particular, struggle with over-provisioning resources (53%, compared to 47% for high maturity firms), idle or underused resources (55% compared to 51%) and lack of needed skills (47% vs. 43%).

Multicloud Drivers

High- and low-maturity organizations also differ on what drives their multicloud efforts. For example, along with cost reductions, reliability, scalability, security and governance, digital transformation and, especially, portability of data and applications are much more commonly cited by high-maturity organizations. On the other hand, factors such as remote working, shopping for best-fit cloud service, desire for operational efficiency, backup/disaster recovery and avoiding vendor lock-in were relatively similar across all levels of maturity.

What are the business and technology factors driving your multicloud adoption?

Base: 963 respondents who are application development and delivery practitioners and decision-makers with budget authority for new investments. Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of HashiCorp, February 2023.

When it comes to security threats, 49% of both high- and low-maturity respondents worry about data theft (the top-ranking choice), and roughly equal percentages are concerned about phishing and social engineering attacks. Notably, though, while 61% of low-maturity companies rank password/credential/secrets leaks as a big concern, only 47% of high-maturity respondents agree. Similarly, ransomware is an issue for 47% of low-maturity respondents but just 39% of their high-maturity counterparts.

What are the biggest threats your organization face when it comes to cloud security?

Base: 957 respondents who are application development and delivery practitioners and decision-makers with budget authority for new investments. Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of HashiCorp, February 2023.

Find out More

You can explore the full results of the survey on HashiCorp’s interactive State of Cloud Strategy Survey microsite, where you can also download Forrester Consulting’s “​​Operational Maturity Optimizes Multicloud” study, which presents the firm’s key survey findings, analysis and recommendations for enterprises.

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