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Author: Dave Courbanou

Federal government agencies have found a true need to bring cloud services to the workplace and are actively making plans to do so, a new Information Week survey finds.

According to the report, 50 percent of U.S. government organizations have looked at all of the options available in the cloud service and application space, and 46 percent of those have actively started evaluating them.

The survey had 103 federal IT professional respondents,revealing the trends shaping the development of cloud technology in the federal vertical — and unsurprisingly there remains a lot of opportunity for solution providers. 50 percent of all respondents say they are moving forward with cloud technology, or “in the early stages” of rolling it out.

As it stands, public cloud is popular, with 18 percent of respondents leveraging that model. But 14 percent are using private clouds, and many more companies are looking to do the same. 39 percent of respondents said they were likely to start bringing private cloud technology into the fold.

For partners, the findings indicate there’s a large base of federal IT professionals in need of help to find right-sized cloud services, in addition to a sizable chunk that needs private cloud technology, which should result in investments in infrastructure. This approach is pretty straightforward — a sale of hardware and services — but there’s still opportunity beyond these two basic needs.

Major hurdles to cloud adoption remain for federal agencies. The assessment of cloud services and security was found to be the biggest issue, with a sizable 68 percent of respondents citing this problem. That conflict is followed up by issues of compatibility with legacy systems, which took 51 percent, and a complete lack of experience with cloud was noted at 31 percent.

This paints a picture of consultative, compliance and migratory services — all things the channel is well suited to deliver. Federal agencies, like any large enterprise customer — need a guiding hand and a trusted advisor to bring the cloud down to the workplace. Solution providers that specialize in spaces causing federal pain points should find themselves ideally suited for these challenges and opportunities.

Worth noting: Infrastructure-as-a-service commanded a 49 percent use-case, storage-as-a-service was runner up at 32 percent and software- and platform-as-a-service came in at 25 and 19 percent respectively. Understanding which kinds of cloud services are in use by federal agencies and which ones are most prominently needed should help solution providers align the kinds of apps, services and value-attach technology needed to make federal agencies happy cloud citizens.

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