A new study from defense contractor Lockheed Martin found that government agencies are increasingly deploying cloud computing solutions to improve their IT capabilities. However, data security and compliance concerns continue to hinder the technology's adoption in many areas of government.
In a survey of 196 government IT decision-makers, 50 percent of respondents indicated they are considering deploying cloud computing applications, such as hosted email and backup solutions. This represents a sizable increase from the 12 percent who answered similarly last year.
But, despite this growth, two-thirds of respondents identified data protection as one element of the cloud that needs to be addressed. This trend is nothing new, as security has been an obstacle of cloud growth for quite some time. However, the issue may be more pressing for federal agencies, which often handle sensitive government information that could potentially become a matter of national security if leaked.
Additionally, Lockheed Martin found cloud concerns extend beyond security and also include dependability, integration with existing applications and availability.
While the concerns remain, the study did discover that agencies are becoming more comfortable with the cloud. Specifically, those who have already deployed cloud solutions are more than twice as likely to express trust in the cloud.
The future of cloud computing in government, however, may be in jeopardy. Earlier this month, federal CIO Vivek Kundra, who has been a strong advocate for the cloud, announced that he was leaving his position in August and will become a joint fellow at Harvard University.
What this means for the cloud is still up in the air. Last year, Kundra introduced a 25-point federal IT reform plan that mandated a cloud-first approach to new IT projects. Whether federal agencies will continue to follow this path in Kundra’s absence remains to be seen.