Cloud computing has effectively taken over businesses in virtually every sector over the past few years. For government, the road to virtual platforms has been paved with roadblocks in the forms of security, budget and overall hesitance to change from tried-and-true solutions. Despite these challenges, many federal and local government organizations have adopted the cloud for their operations, and it's making a significant difference. Other agencies that aren't using the cloud are likely to start their journey to these platforms in the near future, and will begin reaping all the benefits the cloud can offer.
Increased funding put into cloud efforts
In order to keep up with trends and better support organizations across the board, the federal government is putting more funding toward the cloud. In fact, 8.5 percent of government IT spending will be allotted for cloud initiatives in fiscal year 2016, according to IDC. It would be wise to watch this number, however, because cloud spending for 2015 was double compared to what the Office of Management and Budget predicted. These numbers show that the cloud is growing at an unprecedented rate as more organizations recognize the cost savings and other benefits it can offer.
For those agencies that are still hesitant to pursue the cloud, they can follow the example of the White House, which established the Cloud First strategy and submitted a request for funding to modernize federal IT. In early April, the Obama Administration asked Congress for $3.1 billion to improve IT security, upgrade systems and implement better apps and services, Federal News Radio reported. No doubt some of this effort will be directed toward cloud platforms to bolster protection and provide the convenience users want.
The U.S. isn't the only federal government looking to improve its capabilities with the cloud. G-Cloud, the U.K. program to promote cloud adoption across its government, has reached a spending lull. According to Government Computing, G-Cloud spending totaled over $1.4 billion at the end of February, after $55.9 million in sales in that month. Because the number of new customers has dropped off, many experts are concerned about the growth of this framework and its sustainability. As other government entities start jumping into the cloud, this will set the example for other agencies and businesses to follow.
All government levels can benefit
Federal agencies are good candidates for cloud solutions, but local governments may be even more apt to cloud platforms. Many state and local-level leaders may think that they are too small for cloud solutions or that they are unable to utilize these systems. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. With the right government cloud computing partner, organizations of all sizes from local to federal can use the cloud to improve their operations. Smart Data Collective contributor Elianna Hyde noted that the cloud can integrate well with current technology, staving off costly replacements until organizations are ready to make the switch.
This type of flexibility will not only help government groups transition at their own pace, but also react to situations faster than ever before. The cloud also offers flexibility in terms of its features and storage capacity, which can both be adjusted on an as-needed basis. On top of these benefits, cloud users will notice a significant improvement in their communication capabilities, streamlined workloads and lower overall costs. With a capable provider, cloud solutions can be configured for the particular needs of an organization to ensure that they aren't paying for something they aren't using.
"Instead of running around to multiple departments and people to find out something or to get something done, the cloud makes it a one stop government shop," Hyde wrote. "The cloud also does not require a group of people that need to maintain it and that need to make sure that all of the government is on the same page. If they are all connected to the cloud, it allows the government to work together rather than as separate departments."
Government groups have historically been slow to adopt technology. The cloud has proven itself to be a major asset on all levels, and it will be critical to incorporate this solution in agencies from the local to federal government.