The report, entitled Pulse on Public Sector Virtualization and Cloud Computing Study, examined IT professionals in the federal, state and local government sectors, as well as in higher education institutions.
According to the study's findings, the public sector may be in need of greater education regarding the nature and purpose of cloud computing and virtualization. Approximately 64.7 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations suffer from some level of confusion about the difference between the two technologies.
Similarly, the overwhelming majority of federal respondents indicated that they are not aware of their organizations having any cloud computing exit strategy. Such strategies are regarded as an important step in cloud computing adoption, as they enable agencies to switch between cloud providers at a later stage.
Despite the lack of knowledge about some cloud-related issues, however, there seems to be a generally positive attitude toward both virtualization and cloud computing. The study found that approximately 68.1 percent of federal IT professionals believe private or hybrid clouds will best meet their organizational needs in five or more years, while 71.7 percent of respondents said virtualization has made it easier to manage their IT environments.
William Clements, dean and professor of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Norwich University, which carried out the study, said it revealed "a number of noteworthy findings."
According to Clements, one striking conclusion is the fact that government and higher education IT professionals "have clearly expressed their preference for private and hybrid cloud models."
As a growing number of companies recognize the benefits of cloud computing, awareness of its intricacies may increase.
While some government agencies may not yet have fully recognized the benefits of cloud computing, others have embraced the cloud enthusiastically. The city government of San Francisco recently deployed a new cloud-based email solution for its approximately 60 departments.