Federal and SLED IT Leaders Are Progressing with Cloud Smart

Feds say their agencies are not moving to cloud fast enough, but OMB’s Cloud Smart policy is helping. MeriTalk’s new study, “Smart > Lucky:  Pillars to Fed and SLED Cloud Success,” explores where agencies are making progress, how Cloud Smart is helping, and where roadblocks linger.

The study, underwritten by Dell Technologies and Microsoft, found that almost three quarters of Federal IT executives (71 percent) say Cloud Smart is helping their organization increase the pace of cloud adoption, including on-premise and off-premise cloud solutions. Interestingly, state and local government IT leaders are also leaning on the Federal guidance: 57 percent say the policy has likewise accelerated their cloud progress.

Cloud Smart Impact

Specifically, IT leaders share the directive is helping increase flexibility in IT procurement, improve IT service delivery, spread cloud education efforts and best practices, and standardize cloud protocols across government organizations.

According to 82 percent of Federal and 69 percent of SLED IT managers, Cloud Smart will be integral to their organization’s cloud success.

“Cloud provides a great opportunity to centralize, harmonize, and clean data,” said Cameron Chehreh, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Presales Engineering, Dell Technologies.  “Going forward, this effort will provide a foundation for future cutting-edge initiatives, such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning.”

Making Their Own Luck

Those leading the way aren’t just lucky – they’re implementing the policy’s advice by preparing their security, workforce, and procurement.  Self-described “advanced” cloud organizations are significantly more likely to have prepared for cloud by implementing modern Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM), establishing talent development programs, and developing cloud procurement guidance.

Organizations agree that the one cloud does not fit all.

The majority – 77% – say a hybrid cloud environment (that utilizes the same core technology on and off premises) is the most effective approach for public sector organizations.

Hitting Roadblocks

“Each of the three pillars of the Cloud Smart strategy is integral to operationalizing Cloud Smart as a whole,” said Chehreh. So, what is delaying cloud progress?

Out of the policy’s three pillars (security, workforce, and procurement) – public sector IT leaders say they are most prepared in the security area. That said, fewer than half know exactly who is responsible for each security measure in the cloud.

More training is needed – 62 percent say their workforce is not ready to take full advantage of cloud, and 73 percent want more guidance on how to efficiently and effectively procure cloud solutions.

The majority are missing key steps to manage risk in hybrid cloud environments. Sixty-seven percent are not performing continual risk prevention assessments across all environments, and 66 percent are not improving consistency between on-premise and off-premise cloud security.

“When agencies acquire cloud in today’s model, security is paramount for all things considered in the mission environment,” said Chehreh.

Luck Favors the Prepared

To move cloud efforts forward, Fed and SLED IT managers recommend early adoption, sharing and adhering to best practices, and leveraging cloud for next-generation technologies.

Feds also suggest more robust guidance, such as adding a data management pillar to future versions of the Cloud Smart policy.

Going forward, the study recommends organizations embrace all three pillars, focus on selecting the right cloud for each workload, and increase collaboration across Fed, SLED, and industry to support changing needs and drive positive outcomes.

See the full report to learn more:  Smart > Lucky:  Pillars to Fed and SLED Cloud Success

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Brittany Johnston is the research director for 300Brand, where she's developed and managed disruptive research programs for more than 10 years. Brittany is our resident data detective; she enjoys partnering with Federal IT marketers to explore new technologies, test brand perceptions, uncover market challenges, and synthesize the stories our government customers are trying to tell us.

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