Agile expectations

Agile remains a hot topic among federal agencies and IT teams. But despite widespread adoption, there were also signs for concern. For example, Agile received the largest percentage of “less than expected” and “much less than expected” responses for meeting expectations as well as higher scores for uncertainty.

When asked about the top benefits and drawbacks of agile, 56 percent said the ability to manage changing priorities is the top advantage of agile. Forty-seven percent cited organizational resistance to change and 46 percent pointed to insufficient training or skills as the biggest drawbacks. Conversely, management support or agency culture were not viewed as overwhelming obstacles to success.

The implication? While there’s willingness to embrace change at the top levels of agencies, workforce resistance is greater on the ground.

Cloud adoption underway—but not pervasive

Among federal agencies, commercial cloud is still in very limited adoption. More than half of respondents (54 percent) run 25 percent or less of their infrastructure in the cloud. Only one in five respondents can be considered pacesetters, with half or more of their systems running in commercial cloud infrastructure.

IT decision makers and influencers prize commercial cloud infrastructure for the scalability and performance it offers (cited as a benefit by half of respondents). Nearly as many (46 percent) cited cost savings/lower total cost of ownership as a key benefit.

Despite messaging to the contrary, potential security issues—cited by 63 percent—remain by far the biggest perceived drawback. Forty-one percent also pointed to the related concern of vulnerability to hacks and threats. The reality of cloud security—which benefits from cloud service providers’ focused expertise and economics of scale—suggest these perceptions may be rooted in fear of change or loss of control.

"I’m not surprised by the survey’s findings that cloud uptake is still relatively low among federal organizations. I’m also confident that’s now changing—and the acceleration is rapid."

– CHRIS COPELAND, Cloud Services Lead – Accenture Federal Services

Sharing benefits

More respondents’ agencies have fully adopted shared services than any of the other best practices.


found process standardization emerged as the top benefit of shared services and centers of excellence


indicated that cost reduction is a key benefit

The biggest drawback: the potential need for departments to compromise on specialized requirements (52 percent).

Dave McClure

Principal Director – Federal CIO Advisory Services


Decouple to innovate
Federal CIO playbook
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