EPA plans on migrating to the cloud

The cloud continues to be adopted around the world by organizations from both the public and private sector. As the technology evolves and concerns associated with costs and data security lessen, decision-makers will feel more inclined to leverage the cloud to improve efficiency and potentially gain a competitive advantage.

Even the Environmental Protection Agency is migrating to the cloud, as the agency recently announced a goal to shift up to 80 percent of its computing operations to cloud-based environments by 2015. The process is forecast to take up to three years and cost approximately $15 million.

"With this modernization initiative, the EPA is accelerating the benefits of cloud computing across the enterprise," CGI senior vice president Toni Townes-Whitley said.

The three-year plan will be part of the EPA's initiative in which its National Computing Center will develop an agency-wide hybrid structure that will provide a number of Infrastructure as a Service resources to branches around the country.

"With their vision of moving up to 20 percent of their environment to the cloud in the first year - and then 30 percent in years two and three - the EPA is setting an impressive pace for cloud adoption," Townes-Whitley said. "Their plan will reduce the in-house maintenance burden while ensuring they can seamlessly meet EPA program requirements with fast, flexible, affordable and secure solutions."

A separate report by Market Research Media further revealed the trend of government agencies migrating services to cloud environments, as the analyst firm forecast the U.S. federal cloud computing market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent from 2013 through 2018.

As the cloud matures, more organizations across verticals will be pushed into the cloud to remain relevant with rival firms and other government agencies.

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