Cloud First Today

Jul 26, 2012

I appreciate the initiative that former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra had in promoting and driving cloud computing for government use by instituting the Cloud First policy. But where do we stand now, roughly a year and a half since he first outlined the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy? We are finally beginning to see the dawn of cloud adoption across the federal IT landscape.

But that’s just it. Cloud computing is only beginning to see daylight, especially in the federal space. The Cloud First initiative has galvanized some federal IT organizations (FAA, NASAGSANOAA, for example) and they have been leaders in migrating their workloads to the cloud. I strongly feel that we are going to see many more agencies move significant amounts of their systems and applications to cloud environments over the next several months. I’ve seen many projections from service providers, stakeholders and analysts over the last year, touting the various revenue streams and the promise of market growth in the federal space (some that dwarf even Kundra’s own $20 billion estimate). I attended a recent VMware seminar where they stated that VMware, the largest provider of virtualization solutions, will see a 60% increase in cloud-based revenue over 2012 (90% of which will be through the federal government). That’s amazing growth for any technology.

That said, it’s not just about how much but rather what types of capabilities agencies will be moving to the cloud. According to Gartner, by 2016 over 50% of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud. Another example provided by a venture capital firm, North Bridge Venture Partners, which recently surveyed about 800 industry experts and cloud users suggests the same. About half of those surveyed said they believe cloud computing was “ideal” for their mission-critical applications today. That’s incredible considering that over 40% said they are actually deploying apps in public or hybrid clouds today. I truly believe that the government is soon to follow.

As IT organizations strive for better performance and reduced costs, they will understand the benefits of migrating their apps and workloads to the cloud. That’s why GTSI has designed services particularly to help organizations understand these benefits and properly select which apps and functionalities to migrate to the cloud. No matter what your thoughts are on cloud computing, I think one thing is very clear; cloud computing is here to stay and we have only scratched the surface in terms of the potential it holds. Hold on, because it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

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