Many managers don’t know their agencies’ cloud computing budget or goals


IT and business executives know cloud is important, but they remain hazy on details.

Federal information technology officers view cloud computing as an important part of their agencies’ futures, but specific implementation plans are not yet well known within agency management, an industry report has found.

IDC Government Insights found that while 90 percent of more than 400 IT and business managers surveyed said cloud computing will have some impact on their department’s future, an alarming number did not know the long-term plans for the technology or how to budget for cloud solutions.

Thirty-four percent of the executives surveyed did not know their agency’s cloud budget, while 23 percent of civilian managers were not aware their agencies’ long-term plans, according to the report.

“This can cause hesitancy when investigating cloud services,” the consultants wrote.

Forty-five percent of respondents said their office spends between zero and 10 percent of their annual IT budgets on cloud services. Only about 1 percent said they spend a majority of their technology allowance on the cloud.

The researchers found nearly every chief information and technology officers was well-versed in their organizations’ cloud strategy, although there was still a failure of leadership as fewer than 40 percent of chief financial officers could say the same.

IDC found this statistic troubling because CFOs “are often the people who drive their group’s transition to the cloud.”

Government will not receive the full potential benefits of cloud computing until managers get up to speed on implementation and plans, the researchers concluded.

"Survey data indicates that significant progress already has been made for cloud services, but overall progress will only accelerate once several important issues have been addressed," said Shawn McCarthy, research director for IDC Government Insights and the author of the report. "By focusing on greater outreach efforts to bring all IT employees in line with enterprise cloud plans, government agencies can begin to benefit from cloud computing services.”

The full report is available for purchase here.

(Image via Stokkete /