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.


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