Government agencies see cloud as important, report says

As the market for cloud computing continues to expand, more employees across industries are recognizing the technology's potential to enhance operations and efficiency. The federal government is no exception to this trend, as agents throughout the country are labeling cloud solutions as an increasingly important part of their organization.

A new study by IDC Government Insights confirmed this notion, revealing that approximately 90 percent of federal agencies believe the cloud will have a significant impact on their computing infrastructure. Local governments, on the other hand, are less optimistic about the cloud's capabilities, as only slightly more than 14 percent said the cloud will not be an important part of operations in the coming years.

"Survey data indicates that significant progress already has been made for cloud services but overall progress will only accelerate once several important issues have been addressed," IDC Government Insights research director Shawn McCarthy said. "These issues include lack of knowledge by some participants on the level of funding available to them to spend on cloud solutions as well as the needed enterprise architecture changes that can help agencies move more aggressively into cloud."

Many C-level executives are still somewhat unfamiliar with the cloud and how leveraging next-generation solutions can yield significant cost and productivity benefits. IDC Government Insights noted that only 60 percent of chief financial officers in federal agencies are familiar with the cloud, despite the fact that these individuals usually play an important role in the cloud's adoption in other industries.

"By focusing on greater outreach efforts to bring all IT employees in line with enterprise cloud plans, government agencies can begin to benefit from cloud computing services," McCarthy said.

A separate report by Frost & Sullivan noted that federal agencies can experience the same benefits as private organizations that adopt the cloud, including a reduction in IT spending by consolidating resources and using a central pool of computing tools. Governments can also enhance agility through the use of the public or private cloud, as the infrastructure is easily scalable, allowing decision-makers to add or remove bandwidth based on fluctuating demands.

By leveraging the cloud, organizations across all industries can have access to the most up-to-date technologies, giving them the ability to improve efficiency and reduce IT expenses. This will be increasingly important in the coming years as firms continue to struggle through the ongoing economic crisis.

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