The Department of Defense (DoD) made the headlines when they switched to cloud technology, but it’s not alone. Slowly but surely, it seems like all branches of US government are embracing cloud adoption. Forbes Insights predicts that cloud adoption by government entities is slated to “skyrocket,” even though the adoption is taking longer than expected. In 2015, cloud makes up just two percent of the entire public sector IT spending realm, but it looks like a fork in the road is coming. Agencies have been beating around the bush long enough, and experts agree that massive cloud adoption is in the near future.
Of course, there are still some issues to address. One of the main reasons for early adoption was better service, money savings and enjoying agnosticism of devices. The government has found that there are incredible boosts of data security with cloud adoption, and given the era of the data breach we’re living in, that’s very critical. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) got on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) bandwagon just like the DoD, using it to host and store data for BioSense 2.0, which helped them sidestep costly hardware/software investments. According to the Director of Informatics Solutions and Operations at the CDC, Taha Kass-Hout, “Savings realized by moving to the cloud have allowed us to create jobs at the state and local level and build shared services on a platform where we can focus on the work and away from outdated IT solutions.”
A Clear Movement
The chief information officers (CIOs) of many states have noted that they’re now aggressively pursuing cloud technology, and Forbes verified that information during the April 2015 NASCIO conference. Take a look at Alabama, where a cloud-centric CRM is the go-to solution for the health and human services system. Likewise, North Carolina has moved 70,000 employees to Office 365’s cloud email while also using cloud for scalability. The elections and tax season in North Carolina lead to drastic web traffic spikes, and going with cloud tech has helped the state handle it with grace (and minimal down time).
It’s likely that the US government is also being more accepting to cloud-based tech thanks to accreditations. For example, there are more certifications, licenses and FedRAMP reviews available, so agencies are getting peace of mind when choosing their cloud service providers. The FedRAMP review is standardized and offers authorizations, monitoring and security reviews for cloud tech that reduces cost and time spent by up to 40 percent. Not only does this ease worries for agencies, but it also eliminates a lot of redundancy.
Clouds Rolling In
However, much like in the medical field, there’s (no surprise) a lot of red tape and overly cautious approaches to cloud tech in the US government. Moving away from hard copies in many instances has old school government officials digging in their heels. Cloud tech may not technically be “new,” but it is for many government arms that have stuck doggedly to the same way of doing things for decades. Plus, there are many records that, legally, may require a more traditional approach to storage.
One thing’s certain: The government is moving steadily towards cloud adoption and will completely get there in time. By following the government’s lead, conservative company’s can watch what works, what doesn’t and learn a few cloud adoption lessons the easy way.