GAO identifies 7 challenges for 'cloud first'

A new report from the Government Accountability Office found seven agencies that have successfully aligned their cloud adoption efforts with the "cloud-first" policy. However, they still need to do more planning or their overall cloud migration endeavors could be jeopardized, the watchdog cautioned, Camille Tuutti reports in federal Computer Week.

GAO looked at the selected agencies -- the departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, State and Treasury; the General Services Administration and the Small Business Administration – and found each had incorporated cloud computing requirements into their policies and processes.

State, for example, had integrated a review of its IT investment portfolio to identify candidates for cloud solutions. Similarly, USDA identified cloud computing as a high priority and adopted the cloud-first policy of moving existing, or offering new, IT services to a cloud environment.

None of these implementations or the transition overall came without their obstacles. GAO identified seven common challenges associated with the overall adoption of the Office of Management Budget’s’s cloud-first policy:

1. Meeting federal security requirements.

2. Getting guidance.

3. Acquiring knowledge and expertise.

4. Certifying and accrediting vendors.

5. Ensuring data portability and interoperability.

6. Overcoming cultural barriers.

7. Procuring services on a consumption basis.

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