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Federal Cloud Adoption – What Are the Obstacles?

by | Jan 19, 2015 | Government Entities

176894323_200_133Cloud deployments by federal agencies have been accelerating, though the going is slow. IDC Government Insights forecasts that U.S. agencies will spend approximately $3 billion on cloud projects in FY2014, a healthy $800 million jump from what had been predicted in 2013.

There are several reasons that agencies are turning to cloud deployments, including improved agility, reduced IT complexity and IT spend and greater collaboration, yet it is increasingly clear that obstacles are capping broader adoption of cloud services.

A 2014 MeriTalk survey of 153 federal IT executives closely involved in their agencies’ cloud deployments delved into cloud adoption obstacles that are top of mind for decision makers. The survey found that agencies want to double their cloud use, but 89 percent of IT pros feel some apprehension about migrating IT services and apps to the cloud.

What are the four key obstacles?

First obstacle: Lack of clarity on cloud migration path

The benefits of a cloud infrastructure – hybrid cloud environments in particular – are becoming increasingly clear to agencies, however, the management challenges around data storage and portability can prove daunting.

Second obstacle: Data stewardship and data governance

Federal agencies are moving beyond utilizing a single cloud infrastructure and are as likely today to employ a portfolio of public, private and hybrid clouds based on their specific needs.

Third obstacle: Information security

Data in motion presents security hesitations for agencies. Data is not only moving from on premise to off-premise, but increasingly between different cloud environments.

Fourth obstacle: Risk Management

Agencies struggling with striking the right on premise/off-premise balance must develop processes for determining tolerances for risks associated with loss of data or availability.

These risk obstacles vary greatly, based on agency mission and application, but ultimately they must be addressed to overcome internal or external fears of losing control of key data.

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