Cloud, IT, information technology, CIO


Mastering the migration to cloud computing

Survey of federal leaders

This survey report, conducted in November 2016, provides an assessment of more than 300 federal agency leaders on perceptions, experiences, and challenges with migration to the cloud. Respondents hail from a range of mission areas, the most represented being either technical/scientific or IT, program/project management, and administrative/office services. Eighty seven percent identify as non-Department of Defense federal civilians and 14 percent identify as Department of Defense or active duty military.​

The value of the cloud

While more respondents say cloud computing has had a positive impact (24 percent) on their organization than those that reported a negative one (six percent), nearly one in three reported that there was no noticeable impact. In addition, 40 percent of respondents did not know whether the impact from cloud on their organizations was positive or negative. Top executives such as CIOs and CFOs have been rather vocal when making the case for cloud. The survey results indicate these executives should get more involved post cloud migration to validate and communicate that the value was achieved.

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From Cloud First to Cloud Native

The cloud offers the opportunity for applications to meet the changing expectations of users—particularly in the areas of ease of operations, stability performance, and agility. Ironically, only one in five survey respondents indicated that their organization is either extensively leveraging cloud native applications or at least piloting early applications developed for cloud. A “lift and shift” approach has been the primary method to meet the objectives of the Cloud First policy. This needs to evolve to become more Cloud Native to meet the expectations of users and other key stakeholders.

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Data center transformation

A high percentage of respondents (41 percent) described their organization’s efforts to migrate to the cloud as mixed, problematic, and non-existent and only nine percent considered their migrations to be successful. The primary factors behind these difficulties include security concerns, lack of skills/expertise, budget constraints, legacy applications, and organizational change. Not all clouds are created equal and neither are applications. As a result, success in the cloud requires a certain degree of evolution in the IT services portfolio, cyber practices, and organization.​

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The promise of the cloud is huge, but the journey isn’t easy. Cloud value cannot be achieved through technology alone—it’s about governance, security, people, and processes. This report validates that support for cloud in federal agencies is growing, but perceptions of its impact vary significantly. Agencies need to rethink their core development principles and strategy for going cloud native.

Doug Bourgeois, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

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