Survey: Feds Making Progress on ‘Cloud First’

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Two-thirds of federal agencies have identified applications to move to the cloud, and half of those have started the migration process to cloud computing, according to a survey of 113 FOSE attendees conducted by IT operations and cloud management software provider ScienceLogic, Inc. Convened in Washington, DC, last week, FOSE is the largest technology conference for the federal government.

Of those that have started migration to the cloud, 92 percent are concerned about the performance and availability of services hosted in the cloud, and 63 percent say they will require additional tools to manage and monitor government cloud resources.

The Cloud First policy, laid out by Federal CIO Vivek Kundra in December 2010, requires all government agencies to identify and migrate three “must move” services to cloud solutions within 18 months, with at least one service fully migrated within 12 months. Kundra has since announced plans to leave the administration in August.

According to the survey, the majority of respondents (65 percent) are concerned that internal budget allocated to implement the Cloud First policy, including new solutions required to manage and monitor IT operations in the cloud, will shrink after Kundra exits.

Careful Adoption of Cloud Computing

“While our survey indicates the Cloud First policy has not achieved rapid adoption, two-thirds of respondents have taken some action towards cloud deployments, highlighting the continued desire for cloud computing within the government,” said David Link, CEO of ScienceLogic. “An overwhelming majority, however, are concerned about safeguarding IT services in this new cloud environment, which may be why swift government cloud adoption has stalled. This is not surprising considering the precursors to cloud, including virtualization and data center consolidation, present their own complex IT management challenges.”

The majority of survey respondents also reported that new staffing and/or training will be required to effectively employ cloud services. More than 32 percent will hire staff with cloud skills, 34 percent will train existing staff and 12 percent will do a combination of both, as they begin or continue to migrate applications to cloud solutions. This echoes a survey ScienceLogic carried out at Interop and another conducted by independent firm Gatepoint Research, which found that investment in training existing staff was a key element to support overall cloud goals.

Other key results highlighted in the FOSE survey include:

  • Overall, 79 percent of the total surveyed are concerned about performance and availability of applications in the cloud
  • Only nine percent are not concerned with the performance and availability of services hosted in the cloud, and 12 percent have not thought about it
  • 40 percent say that Cloud First has impacted their planned IT operations in some way
  • 38 percent say they are still waiting to see if the Cloud First policy will impact IT operations
  • One-third have identified applications to move to the cloud, but have not started migration
  • and 34 percent have not identified or started migration to the cloud.

About the Author

Colleen Miller is a journalist and social media specialist. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, with her most recent work dedicated to the online space. Colleen covers the data center industry, including topics such as modular, cloud and storage/big data.

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