Nearly half (46 percent) of US state and local government IT business leaders surveyed say they are planning or are currently engaged in cloud computing endeavors due largely to the potential hardware and software capital and maintenance cost savings.
These figures come from the “Cloud Adoption and Procurement Practices” study of government IT professionals conducted by the Center for Digital Government for IT services provider Unisys. The research was presented at the NASCIO 2013 Annual Conference, a major gathering of IT executives and managers from state governments across the US.
About a third (32 percent) of the 109 government IT professionals surveyed said their state or municipality is migrating to a cloud computing environment, with an additional 14 percent reporting they are currently planning to do so.
The top reason for moving to the cloud was to curb capital and maintenance spending on hardware and software. For about one-fifth of respondents, however, the top reason for cloud adoption was the ability to meet the demands of a growing mobile workforce. Among all polled, 46 percent said they already have or are planning to implement mobility or bring-your-own-device programs.
Security, of course, remains a major concern for governments contemplating a move to the cloud with 71 percent of respondents citing data security a key barrier to adopting the cloud. Integration with existing systems and regulatory compliance were also major reasons for being weary of the cloud.
“Despite continued concerns about cloud security, agencies are recognizing that the cloud can help them reduce costs, adopt mobile devices into their organizations, and modernize old legacy software applications,” Unisys vice president of public sector solutions Crystal Cooper said in a statement. “We expect to see increased focus on cloud projects through contracts such as the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) cloud hosting services vehicle held by Unisys.”
WSCA was created to help government organizations (states, cities, counties, public schools, institutions of higher education and other eligible entities) procure innovative and competitive solutions. WSCA-participating states can now leverage innovative contracting vehicles to more rapidly migrate to the cloud.
Among the respondents who reported they have cloud projects underway or plans to move to the cloud, 70 percent said they are looking to the cloud to host web applications, 60 percent for cloud data storage, and 40 percent for cloud-based email.
Highlighting the growing opportunities for providing cloud-related services to governments, recent report projected that the global government cloud market would be worth $18.48 billion by 2018.