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Governments still hazy on the cloud

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Despite an expected boost in cloud spending, there are significant knowledge gaps within government when it comes to cloud funding and strategies.

IDC Government Insights has released a report detailing the growing demand for cloud services and enterprise architecture resources among government agencies. The new study, “Best Practices: Some Confidence and Some Hesitation – Surprising Results from Our Government Cloud and Enterprise Architecture Survey”, focuses on the results of an survey which measured the progress of cloud solutions at government agencies while also examining the related enterprise architecture needs.

The survey revealed that, despite the growing demand for cloud services, many IT managers are unsure of their organisation’s overall cloud strategy and the resources available to purchase and implement cloud services.

The report found that government employees realise cloud solutions are becoming important for IT strategy. However, many are still evaluating what cloud solutions will specifically mean to them and their organisation.

In addition, more than a third of the respondents lacked knowledge of cloud budgeting.

IDC Government Insights finds that employee outreach is necessary to boost enterprise-wide understanding of cloud strategies and budgets.

Additional key findings of the IDC Government Insights report include:

* Across all levels of government 90% anticipate cloud services will have impact on computing infrastructure.

* Local government participants were the least optimistic about cloud, with 14,7%, saying cloud wasn’t at all important.

* Despite the fact that CFOs are often the people who drive their group’s transition to cloud (due to potential cost savings) 60% of chief financial officers are only somewhat familiar with their organisation’s cloud strategy.

* 15,2% of respondents said they would dedicate between 1% and 10% of the IT budget to cloud endeavours.

* When it comes to cloud providers, there is a clear preference across all levels of government for large IT vendors versus smaller, specialty providers.

“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,” says Shawn McCarthy, research director of IDC Government Insights. “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. 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.”