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GovLoop Report Finds 78% Cite Information Sharing as Leading Cloud Benefit

In our personal lives, many of us rely on the cloud to store our digital music downloads, share our social calendars and post family photos for relatives to view. Cloud computing is also emerging as an essential technology in the workplace. To understand how agencies are using cloud computing -- and to learn from their experiences -- GovLoop conducted a survey of 223 federal, state and local government employees and contractors. The GovLoop survey shows that although the majority of agencies are aware of the benefits of cloud, many are still unsure of the best practices and risk mitigation techniques that must accompany the technology. That's why I am thrilled to share with you our latest report on cloud computing. You can view the report online, or download the PDF below, and I have included a brief overview of from the reports survey section.

View Online Below or Download PDF

Our survey found that most agencies are in the early stages of deploying cloud technology. Responses to the question “Are you using cloud technology at your agency?” yielded the following results:

  • 38 percent said their organization is leveraging cloud at a basic level.
  • 31 percent said their agency is not using cloud, but they are interested in learning about opportunities.
  • 17 percent said their organization is exploring how to best leverage the cloud.
  • 13 percent said their organization relies on the cloud to meet agency goals.

Although only a small group of agencies indicated they are using cloud computing to achieve critical mission objectives, the vast majority of participants said they know about the potential benefits of cloud for their agencies. Participants noted the following benefits:

  • 78 percent cited information sharing.
  • 70 percent cited cost reduction.
  • 70 percent cited increased efficiencies.
  • 57 percent cited personnel efficiency.
  • 53 percent cited ease to scale.
  • 44 percent cited licensing and software downloads.

Our government audience also shared success stories from adopting cloud computing. “With the ability to rapidly implement and easily integrate multiple systems with the cloud, we have far less dependency on the availability of [information technology] resources,” one participant said. “This has allowed us to be more accountable, innovative, keep up with program needs and reduce organizational cost.”

An Ann Arbor, Mich., city government official said, “The city has multiple successful implementations of SaaS-based solutions. In addition, we run our own private cloud data center service for other small agencies.”

These responses show a trend toward the use of private rather than public clouds at government agencies. “At the current state of our studies, we can say that an internal or private cloud is the most appropriate technology to leverage infrastructure, storage and provide increased security,” a respondent from the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance said.

Despite these factors, many respondents were wary of moving their operations to the cloud because of perceived security risks.

“We have only used cloud to share files at a basic level,” a respondent said. “I worry about the security of law enforcement’s sensitive information.”

Despite such concerns, many government systems, from nationwide ones, such as gov.uk, to local ones are run on clouds. In fact, the respondent from the French ministry also noted that storage on a dispersed cloud is safer than physical data storage in one vulnerable area.

Throughout our guide, we will provide you with a path toward safe and secure cloud adoption. Please view the guide above, or download a PDF to learn best practices from industry experts and government case studies to help you make smart cloud investments and align the cloud to your agency’s most critical mission needs.

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Achieving agency missions becomes harder and more complex every minute. But with less money in the budget, many agencies are stuck between the need to deliver new services and the cost of supporting old infrastructure. To break the cycle of dependence on proprietary systems and endless service contracts, agencies need simpler, widely compatible network infrastructure that empowers IT and accelerates mission performance.

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