Telework Cloud

Federal chief information officers are seeing the potential of cloud computing to meet the demands of new telework and mobile workforce mandates, according to a new survey.

The survey of 167 federal CIOs and IT leaders by MeriTalk and VMware found that 64 percent of respondents believe cloud computing will reduce costs and improve service. Further, 64 percent of CIOs also believe the cloud expands mandated telework and mobility options, the survey found.

CIOs surveyed also indicated that the government currently spends an estimated $35.7 billion annually supporting legacy systems. Cloud migration could save $14.4 billion in year one savings from steady-state budgets, CIOs said.

In addition, email is the first application slated for migration to the cloud, with 42 percent of IT managers considering clouding their email systems, the survey found.

In December 2010, the Office of Management and Budget announced its "Cloud First" policy, which requires agencies to move one service to the cloud within 12 months and two additional services to the cloud within 18 months. The policy also requires agencies to choose a cloud solution before initiating a new IT program build.

Moving forward, CIOs and IT managers believe the deadline to moving existing applications to the cloud is aggressive, the survey found. Fifty-two percent said they plan to move one service to the cloud within the next 12 months, and 48 percent say they will move two additional services to the cloud within the next 18 months.

Despite such progress, however, CIOs still cited a number of challenges with cloud migration. Seventy-nine percent of CIOs said budget constraints are a top obstacle, and 71 percent of CIOs say security concerns are inhibiting cloud implementation.