MeriTalk recently surveyed Federal IT professionals to understand if and how they are moving mission critical applications to the cloud. They found that Feds estimate they can save $16.6 billion annually if all agencies move just three mission-critical applications to the cloud.
As Federal agencies are making cloud progress, the early-adopters that are moving their mission-critical applications to the cloud are realizing cost savings and improved access to IT, according to the report, which was sponsored by EMC Corporation, VMware and Carahsoft. The report says the Feds spend more than half their IT budget on supporting mission-critical applications – and that private cloud is the platform of choice for mission-critical application transition. The study reveals how Federal IT executives view the barriers, current status, and future plans related to this shift.
Not surprisingly, Feds say security is a challenge – 73 percent identify security as a primary barrier. As a result, most favor private clouds. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they have moved a mission-critical application to a private cloud; 11 percent say they have moved a mission-critical application to a hybrid cloud; and, 10 percent say they have moved a mission-critical application to a public cloud.
“Private and hybrid clouds offer significant cost-saving benefits along with the necessary security infrastructure that have not yet been realized through public cloud models,” said Kyle Keller, Cloud Business Director at EMC Federal. “The benefits of moving mission-critical applications to the cloud can be realized while also maintaining confidence in the security of those resources.”
Agencies spend 70 percent of their IT budget maintaining outdated legacy applications – this is identified as a significant obstacle to cloud transition. Federal IT executives report that 52 percent of their mission-critical applications are custom built. When asked what would be required to make mission-critical applications ready for the cloud, 45 percent of Federal IT executives said these applications will require major re-engineering to modernize for the cloud.
Forty six percent of Federal IT executives say moving mission-critical applications to the cloud will improve their agencies ability to fulfill their mission, and 43 percent say it will improve their agencies’ big data analytics capabilities.
Of those who have moved a mission-critical application to the cloud, 91 percent report success. Federal IT managers surveyed report moving applications including financial management, procurement, logistics, customer relationship management systems, and project management.
“Our customers who are migrating their mission critical applications to the private cloud are realizing great benefits in cost savings, efficiency, availability and agility,” says Aileen Black, Vice President of U.S. Public Sector, VMware. “These benefits, enabled by the cloud, are the keys to customer success in the cloud.”
“Transitioning legacy, mission-critical applications to the cloud is not a forklift exercise – in many cases it’s more like an organ transplant,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “With the complexity and security concerns, it’s not surprising many agencies want a private room.”
“It’s been our experience that agencies are moving to the cloud in great numbers and are, as this survey clearly indicates, achieving significant benefits from doing so,” said Craig P. Abod, President, Carahsoft. “What began with virtualization now encompasses mission-critical applications as the next step in the journey and the value chain.”
Despite the barriers, many Federal IT executives see mission-critical applications in the cloud in their agencies’ futures. In two years, they expect 26 percent of their mission-critical applications to live in the cloud. In five years, they expect 44 percent to be in the cloud. In order to accomplish implementation goals, Federal IT executives recommend promoting cloud savings opportunities, identifying cloud-ready mission-critical applications, clarifying FedRAMP, and encouraging early adopters to share best practices.
“Mission-Critical Cloud: Ready for the Heavy Lift?” is based on a survey of 151 IT Federal government managers and systems integrators in June 2012. The report has a margin of error of +/- 7.95 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.