The Continued Push to the Cloud — A FedScoop Special Report

It’s been more than a decade since the introduction of the “Cloud First” strategy in 2010, when federal agencies were strongly encouraged to move headfirst to the cloud with their new IT investments.

And yet, 11 years later, only a fraction of federal systems and applications are hosted in the cloud today, per the Federal IT Dashboard.

While federal spending on cloud capabilities continues to grow year-over-year, and the ongoing — and possibly long-term — remote work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced agencies to depend more on the cloud, many are still in the early, nascent stage of their cloud adoption.

In fiscal 2020, the federal government spent roughly $6.6 billion on cloud computing, according to Bloomberg. And that’s projected to grow to $7.2 billion or more before the close of fiscal 2021, especially with the new normal of remote work.

Since 2010’s Cloud First, the Office of Management and Budget introduced an updated strategy for the federal adoption of cloud computing called “Cloud Smart.” The newer policy “offers practical implementation guidance for Government missions to fully actualize the promise and potential of cloud-based technologies while ensuring thoughtful execution that incorporates practical realities.”

Cloud Smart is distilled into an understanding that while the cloud has massive benefits of flexibility, cost savings, speed and even security — despite what some CIOs might say — it may not always be the best option for federal agencies. Hence why hybrid cloud models are booming in the federal space, allowing agencies to keep some workloads on premise while letting them take advantage of the perks of public cloud with others.

This special report — which will be updated in the weeks following its initial publication — will explore the federal government’s continued push to the cloud, how different parts of the government are thinking about cloud adoption and the trends that are currently driving decision-making for federal CIOs as they look to acquire cloud services.


FedScoop List

7 programs leading government’s push to the cloud

by | Jul 12, 2021

FedScoop looks into some of the government's most ambitious cloud acquisitions that either in planning or underway.


Under C2E, IC’s top challenge is turning cloud competitors into partners

by | Jul 20, 2021

Incentivizing cloud companies to work together rather than compete for task orders under the larger contract is the biggest challenge facing the IC's C2E contract.


Inside DOD’s JEDI replacement, the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability

by | Jul 8, 2021

The DOD will look to issue multiple direct awards with cloud service providers and will immediately seek proposals from JEDI-winner Microsoft and its main competitor Amazon.


How the DOD plans to approach cloud differently outside of the U.S.

by | Jul 13, 2021

Setting up cloud computing outside of the U.S. is as important as it is difficult, the DOD told FedScoop.


Scaling cloud training programs a major challenge for CIOs

by | Jul 13, 2021

Recruitment experts tell FedScoop that agencies are still struggling to widen the scope of cloud training programs.


DevSecOps is fueling agencies’ cloud migrations

by | Jul 16, 2021

The embrace of cloud as an enabler of DevSecOps and cybersecurity more broadly represents an evolution in agencies' approach to the technology.


OMB reaffirms commitment to hiring diverse cloud tech talent

by | Jul 20, 2021

An agency official says private sector exchange programs and partnerships with educational institutions will be key.


Let's Talk About IT Ep. 20 — The Continued Push to the Cloud

On this episode of Let's Talk About IT, a pair of cloud experts explain the progress made in recent years in the federal adoption of cloud and the challenges agencies have faced along the way.