My Cup of IT: Bespoke Barrier?

Pennsylvania Avenue makes Savile Row look like a flea market. You see, nowhere in the world will you find so many organizations gadding ‘round town in tailor-made IT duds. A new MeriTalk study on Mission-Critical Cloud – McCloud, if you will – provides a unique glimpse into Uncle Sam’s application wardrobe. And, Yankee Doodle’s dandy IT ways are expensive. The study tells us Feds spend more than half the $78.9 billion IT budget on mission-critical apps.

FIPS Like a Glove?

The ultimate IT fashion critic, Dave Powner at GAO, tells us there are 600 HR systems in the Federal government. Fed IT execs in the study follow suit – noting that 52 percent of Federal mission-critical applications are custom built. This bespoke barrier makes mainstream movement to the cloud cost prohibitive – 45 percent of Fed IT execs say it would take major reengineering to modernize today’s apps for the cloud.

McCloud and Moolah

That said, it’s not all damp flannel and the smell of old mothballs. Fed IT’s motivated to dump the sad rags. IT execs in the study project we could save $16.6 billion by moving three mission-critical apps to the cloud in each agency. And, it’s more than window shopping. Respondents note that their agency is buying McCloud.

And, it’s insightful to get an eyeful of the McCloud fashion. In light of the complexity of legacy apps – not just security concerns – Feds are opting for private McCloud. Of Feds wearing McCloud, 38 percent have opted for the private cut. But, private’s not the only hip look – 11 percent have moved to hybrid and 10 percent have opted for public McClouds.

McCloud and McClure

With the rush to private cloud, Feds are scratching their heads about why FedRAMP’s so much in vogue. If FedRAMP only applies to public clouds – if more than half IT spend is on mission-critical apps – and if most agencies are slipping into private clouds – isn’t GSA’s baby in danger of becoming IT bell bottoms, or worse still, the ascot?

Lose the Lid?

Looking to the future, agencies like the cut of McCloud’s jib. Fed IT execs predict that 26 percent of mission-critical apps will slip into cloud in the next two years – and 44 percent in five years. Sounds like McCloud is to traditional enterprise IT, what JFK or Elvis were for the hat – many Feds plan to trade in classic mission-critical couture for McCloud mojo. That said, it’s certainly not a mass movement today – due to app complexity, many agencies plan to leave the hat on.

Want to get hip on new McCloud trends? Download the new study at And, Fed fashionistas can also pull up a seat by the catwalk for the webinar, Wednesday, October 17th, at 1:00 p.m. EDT – Be there or be square…

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