SafeGov.org / Ponemon Institute Survey Shows That Federal IT Managers Embrace Cloud, but Push Back on Cloud First Mandate
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — SafeGov.org, in partnership the Ponemon Institute, today released the findings of an exclusive survey of over 400 federal agency employees on the migration to cloud computing. The clear takeaway from the survey is that the federal agencies want to embrace the cloud, but are anxious about a “nothing but cloud” approach and the complex security issues it raises. Conducted in September 2011, the survey focused on the Obama Administration’s Cloud First mandate. The results highlight need for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide greater transparency about cloud security and more credible data about the true cost of cloud services.
“It is important that we assess Cloud First’s progress and how key agency decision-makers are embracing the vision,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of Ponemon Institute. “That was the goal of this research.”
The survey analyzes the current status of the Cloud First mandate and shows that many in federal agencies believe that it is a work in progress. Of the respondents, early compliance with the mandate is high, but incomplete.
Federal Agency Response to Cloud First Mandate
The survey notes significant push back from federal agencies on the transition as reflected by the following migration statistics:
- Eighty-three percent (83%) of respondents have fully or partially identified the first three applications they intend to migrate
- Twenty-five percent (25%) have fully migrated at least one legacy application to the cloud
- Forty-seven percent (47%) say their first migration is in progress
The majority of IT managers reported that the delay was due to concerns about the tight timelines imposed by Cloud First.
- Sixty-nine percent (69%) say the Cloud First framework is too fast
- Seventy-one percent (71%) say that pressure to move to the cloud is inadvertently creating greater security risks for their agency
Preferences for Transition to the Cloud
Concerns also remain high about the actual cost savings and overall security associated with cloud computing. A clear preference for using private clouds among survey respondents reflected ongoing apprehension about keeping sensitive data secure.
- Thirty-eight percent (38%) expect that their agency will be using a federal-only cloud in the coming year
- Twenty-eight percent (28%) expect to use a broader government cloud (open to all levels of government)
- Twenty percent (20%) expect to use a private cloud limited to their own agency
- Seventy-three percent (73%) want their servers to be physically isolated from those used by non-government customers
- Seventy percent (70%) want all cloud provider personnel who have access to their agency’s servers or data to pass rigorous background checks
“We know the transition to the cloud is going to happen. But this survey’s findings show that agencies are still in need of education on the cloud and how they will transition effectively. The key is for agencies to gather as much information as possible and work closely with their vendors to find the most cost-effective and secure option for their respective organizations,” said Jeff Gould, CEO and Director of Research at Peerstone Research and SafeGov.org expert. “SafeGov.org is proud to have sponsored this survey and hope it will foster greater collaboration between federal agencies and cloud vendors as they work to insure a safe and effective transition to the cloud.”
Additional information on the Ponemon Institute’s survey results and a complete copy of the executive summary is available on SafeGov.org’s website at www.safegov.org.
SafeGov.org is an online forum for IT providers and leading industry experts dedicated to promoting trusted and responsible cloud computing solutions for the public sector. By fostering a more comprehensive understanding of cloud technologies, including their benefits, capabilities and limitations, SafeGov.org works to empower government users to make well-informed procurement choices from the growing universe of marketplace offerings.
About the Ponemon Institute:
The Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors, and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.