Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.) joined MeriTalk Wednesday to host the MeriTalk Cloud Computing Brainstorm event (www.meritalk.com/ccx), a program that brought together Federal and state chief information officers (CIOs) with industry executives to discuss cloud computing best practices, lessons learned, progress against FedRAMP, and fundamentally, to accelerate the government's path to cloud computing.
At the event, MeriTalk Cloud Computing Exchange (CCX) announced findings from a new study, "Cloudy with a Chance of Savings." The study, which identifies where the Federal government stands on cloud today and what the future holds for cloud adoption, reveals that Federal agencies are saving approximately $5.5 billion with cloud implementations today. This number pales next to the $12 billion annual savings estimates from the Cloud Computing Exchange Calculator, based on budget data input by Feds from real Information Technology (IT) programs.
"At a time when we're facing record budget deficits, it's clear that the Federal government needs to do a better job of protecting our scarce taxpayer dollars and curbing wasteful spending on assets it doesn't need," said Senator Tom Carper, (D-Del.). "There's probably no better example of this financial mismanagement than the $80 billion we spend each year on IT. The Obama Administration has made remarkable progress in its efforts to reduce unnecessary IT spending, but we still have more work to do. That's why it's so important that we keep up this momentum and push forward on the Federal government's cloud computing initiative. By consolidating Federal data centers and moving the government to lighter, cheaper technologies, such as the cloud, we can provide better results for less money to the American people."
"What this survey shows us is that cloud computing is on track to enable a faster, smarter government," said Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.). "Open, honest debates like the Brainstorm encourage us to work together to make better decisions. The Federal government should be one of the leaders of this pack."
"Cloud cuts cost," said Steve O'Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. "Cash-strapped citizens are ready to cozy up to cloud ch'ching."
What's Holding Agencies Back?
Still a concern, security remains the biggest cloud obstacle at a whopping 85 percent from Federal respondents. Additional worries come in the form of culture (at 38 percent), and service levels (at 32 percent). Further, Federal government respondents noted there is, to a degree, opposition from leadership in cloud adoption. Leading the hesitancy towards cloud were IT leadership (at 20 percent), program management (at 18 percent), and legal (at 17 percent).
DoD vs. Civilian -- Budgets and Apps
Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian respondents disagreed on the key points in the direction of the FY2016 IT budget as well as cloud applications. DoDrespondents believe that the FY2016 IT budget will decrease to $72.4 billion, while civilians think the budget will increase to $80.1 billion.
Exactly70 percent of all respondents expect an increase of cloud-based applications within the next two years. However, DoD and civilian respondents disagreed on the two key cloud applications. DoDrespondents found that administrative apps are key cloud applications -- 57 percent to 38 percent for civilian. Civilianrespondents cited that conferencing software is a key cloud application -- 34 percent to 11 percent from DoD.
The survey -- which polled 108 Federal government CIOs and IT managers -- is available at www.meritalk.com/ccx/chanceofsavings. The Cloud Computing Exchange Calculator is available for free for industry and government and is available at www.meritalk.com/cloudcalculator. For more information on the Cloud Computing Brainstorm, orto be a part of the Cloud Computing Exchange, visit www.meritalk.com/ccx.
The voice of tomorrow's government today, MeriTalk is an online community and go-to resource for government IT. Focusing on government's hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Data Center Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Cloud Computing Exchange -- platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts.