To know the cloud is to love the cloud?

If government managers knew more about cloud computing, would they embrace it? Apparently, yes.

The more familiar state and local government IT decision-makers are with cloud computing, the more they support it and see the benefits it can deliver to their agencies, according to a survey sponsored by Bluetext, a Washington, D.C.-based communications and marketing firm. The vast majority of those familiar with the cloud see it as an effective tool in meeting a range of IT challenges, from providing backup and disaster recovery to desktop virtualization.

One hundred and fifty state and local government IT decision-makers were interviewed online in August by Fabrizio, Ward & Associates on behalf of Bluetext. Seven out of 10 of those very familiar with the cloud think that cloud data centers would bring immediate cost savings to their agencies. Nearly 91 percent of the IT managers polled would be interested in cloud data centers if they knew immediate costs savings could be had.

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IT departments worldwide aren't ready for the cloud, survey finds

But among those less familiar with the cloud, many are struggling to understand the benefits (35 percent) or how to get started implementing it (46 percent). Just 43 percent of those less familiar with the cloud say they have considered using it to save money and improve efficiencies.

Cloud computing is a model for on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned or released with minimal management effort or service-provider interaction, according the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

"Government IT leaders see the significant benefits of implementing cloud solutions, including saving money, if they are familiar with it," said Don Goldberg of Bluetext. "But there's some educating that needs to be done for the others."

Fifty-seven percent of the IT decision-makers said their political leaders had cloud on their radar, at least to some degree, but just 17 percent say they are getting a lot of support from agency executives for IT cost-cutting initiatives. Those polled think political leaders need to hear more about the cloud, and the vast majority of IT decision-makers think their political leaders would be supportive if they knew more about cloud computing and its benefits.

This disconnect is unfortunate, Goldberg said.

“Voters want political leaders and government managers to use technology to cut costs, and government IT leaders want it as well," he said. "Yet, they just aren't getting that support."

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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