5 Cloud Trends to Watch in Government

Much time and funding have been devoted to getting cloud underway at all levels of government, and 47 percent of agencies actively use these services now, according to Gartner. That likely will grow in concert with federal cloud investments, which research firm IDC expects to reach about $3.3 billion in 2021. Whether it’s better approaches to sharing data, as NIH is doing; making people safer through social services; improving transportation; or protecting the environment, cloud is facilitating government services.

Adoption isn’t just a trend at the federal level. Investments in cloud continue to stay high on the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ annual Top Ten Policy and Technology Priorities list.

Today, citizens using government services expect secure and mobile digital experiences, delivered any time, at any place, on any device. And the same is true about the government workforce, who needs access to an increasingly complex hybrid IT environment in which connections and services are no longer fully managed by the agency.

To do this, more and more of the public sector are moving their operations and applications to the cloud.

And as cloud technology has evolved, so too have the possibilities it enables. Clearer uses are coming into view. Benefits are no longer just big-picture, such as greater flexibility, cost savings and increased efficiencies – but more honed. For example, it is enabling mission-specific efforts, such as making research more collaborative by facilitating medical data-sharing, protecting children from abuse through data analytics and giving U.S. warfighters an advantage over adversaries with AI.

To learn how agencies are realizing these benefits, we looked at what’s happening in the public sector to encourage innovation. We found that agencies, supported by government initiatives to embrace the technology, are tapping into five key trends:

Trend 1: Cloud supports emerging technology applications, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things

Trend 2: Cloud enables better government services

Trend 3: New acquisition approaches ease adoption

Trend 4: Cloud tackles security challenges

Trend 5: Private models are picking up steam – again

This guide explores these trends through real-life case studies and interviews with tech officials at various levels of government.