Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
Digital government—federal agencies can realize significant cost savings through cloud computing
It is estimated that $20 billion of the $80 billion government spends on IT could be migrated to the cloud, resulting in a 30 percent cost savings. Given these significant figures, the federal government issued the Cloud First Policy, which requires agencies to consider cloud services before making any new IT investments.
Today, three years since the Policy was first issued, cloud is becoming a part of the fabric of agencies’ missions and an essential component of achieving broader strategies and becoming a digital government. That’s because cloud can make agencies more responsive, more flexible, more scalable and more cost effective.
To assess the perceptions and attitudes of federal executives in regards to cloud computing, we asked them. Their feedback, our analysis and our recommendations are detailed in this report.
To assess the perceptions and attitudes of federal executives in regards to cloud computing and becoming a digital government, Accenture and the Government Business Council surveyed 286 subscribers representing 26 agencies. The survey pointed to a number of key findings, including:
Adoption is progressing slowly. Just under half of the managers have migrated 10 percent of their IT portfolio to cloud. Those that have a lower adoption rate cite the difficulty of creating and implementing a migration strategy as a primary reason.
Resourcing the cloud is an issue for agencies. Only 32 percent of respondents believe that their agency has the right staff to implement their cloud strategy successfully. Consequently, 64 percent of those surveyed indicate that they need to hire additional employees to execute successfully. Additionally, half of the managers report that their agency needs to invest in training.
Procuring the cloud is occurring in limited areas of government. When asked whether procurement processes hinder their cloud purchases, most respondents didn’t know. Of those that did know, just 16 percent feel that current procurement processes do not hinder purchases.
Agencies are measuring the cloud. The most popular measurement among managers is to determine the total cost of ownership. Others rely more on speed-of-service delivery. While these are the most popular measurements, 40 percent also track enhanced operational control and just under half look at risk and compliance improvement.
With shrinking budgets and demands for higher service levels, CIOs must become a digital government and find creative ways to deliver more with less. Cloud computing can serve as a powerful solution to reach this goal through well-thought-out strategies in:
Cloud adoption. Migrating to the cloud helps to reduce expenses in several areas by sharing services and technology infrastructures. In fact, a recent survey found that agencies currently use less than 30 percent of their server capacity—far less than the 60–80 percent usage goal. For the IT organization and agency, a successful cloud strategy has vision and alignment with governance and vigilance. It requires balance between old and new, as well as investment in skills.
Cloud resourcing. Having the right staffing and experts to implement your cloud strategy is critical, as is training.
Cloud procurement. Procuring the cloud involves some challenges since traditional procedures are set up for one-time purchases rather than for a utility purchase model. Cloud brokerages can offer a solution to procurement difficulties. These brokerages act as a middleman, delivering a list of providers based on an agency’s needs. They manage customer relations, ensure fair pricing across agencies, and provide compliance with security and risk requirements.
Cloud measurement. Most IT investments are measured to assess their value—the cloud is no exception. The most popular measurement is to determine the total cost of ownership followed by speed-of-service delivery.
Accenture has worked on more than 8,000 cloud projects globally with some of the world’s largest organizations. Agencies looking to truly become a digital government and achieve increased efficiencies, cost savings and on-demand scalability through cloud should consider:
Developing holistic implementation plans. Define service levels, performance measurements, security requirements and cost estimates.
Testing the plan by migrating low-impact tasks to the cloud first. Test your implementation plans by moving relatively low-impact tasks such as e-mail to the cloud first. Then, begin moving over more mission-critical applications.
Investing in additional staffing and training. Assess current staffing resourcing and knowledge upfront.
Using a cloud broker. Many government agencies struggle to address pain points and mitigate risks related to “shadow IT,” cloud sprawl and hybrid cloud environments. A cloud broker can manage customer relations, ensure fair pricing across agencies, and provide compliance with security and risk requirements.
July 17, 2014
Skip Footer Links