Cloud
News
4/15/2011
03:14 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Cloud Computing's Tipping Point

Half of federal agencies will be in the cloud within 12 months, according to our new cloud computing survey.

April 18, 2011 InformationWeek Government Digital InformationWeek Green
Download the entire Apr. 18, 2011 issue of InformationWeek Government , distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

Tipping Point

Private clouds promise maximum control and strong security, while commercial cloud services are fast and flexible. Which works best? Government agencies are adopting both, as well as hybrids. The private cloud vs. public cloud debate is rapidly giving way to new models where agencies tap on-demand IT resources from a variety of cloud platforms--private, commercial, hybrid, software as a service--based on what best suits their needs.

There are few technology trends the U.S. government is embracing with such fervor as the cloud. In his Federal Cloud Computing Strategy report, published in February, federal CIO Vivek Kundra set a target of shifting 25% of the government's $80 billion in annual IT spending to cloud computing.

How fast will federal agencies make the transition? InformationWeek Government and InformationWeek Analytics surveyed 137 federal IT pros in February to gauge their plans. Our 2011 Federal Government Cloud Computing Survey shows a big jump in the use of cloud services, with 29% of respondents saying their agencies are using cloud services, up 10 points from last year. Another 29% plan to begin using the cloud within 12 months, which means adoption should surpass the 50% mark in the year ahead.

As federal IT teams evaluate where cloud computing fits in their broad IT strategies, they must answer some fundamental questions: Where will cloud services deliver savings over existing systems? How should they provision and manage cloud services? And the big one on everyone's mind, what about data security?

The Obama administration's "cloud first" policy requires agencies to use cloud services where possible for new IT requirements. Cloud computing is more than a new technology services approach; it demands changes to deep-rooted procurement processes and organizational culture. It's also an alternative to capital investment in systems and software, as agencies look to eliminate 800 data centers over the next four years in accordance with the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative.

The Office of Management and Budget's influence is shown in our survey, with 21% of respondents saying that compliance with OMB guidance is a driver in their shift to cloud computing.

The economies of scale from shared, centralized infrastructure have the potential to lower usage costs across government. In a pure utility model, users pay only for what they consume, but that doesn't translate to federal IT yet. However, with the prospect of decreasing budgets, agencies must find ways to direct limited funds to their core missions, which may mean having less money available for IT investments. Cloud computing could very well be part of how they cope.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the April 2011 issue of InformationWeek Government

Federal Government Cloud Computing Survey

Become an InformationWeek Analytics subscriber and get our full report on our 2011 Federal Government Cloud Computing Survey.

This report includes 32 pages of action-oriented analysis packed with 16 charts. What you'll find:
  • How agencies plan to meet OMB's "cloud first" mandate
  • Impact of hybrid clouds and other new cloud models
Get This And All Our Reports


Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.