Public sector organization can’t bet on luck when it comes to the cloud, but smart helps – specifically OMB’s Cloud Smart policy, according to MeriTalk’s newly released “Smart > Lucky: Pillars to Fed and SLED Cloud Success” report.

The report, underwritten by Dell Technologies and Microsoft, found that 75 percent of public sector IT managers believe their agencies aren’t moving to cloud aggressively enough.

This said, the majority – 71 percent – confirm the Federal Cloud Smart policy is helping their organizations accelerate cloud adoption.

The Cloud Smart policy, initially released in September 2018 by the Office of Management and Budget, is intended to help improve IT service delivery and increase flexibility in IT procurement.

In terms of moving the ball forward on cloud adoption, the report asked Fed leaders what additional pillar they would like to see included in future cloud policy. Roughly a third (32 percent) said data management, 24 percent said cloud for artificial intelligence and machine learning, 21 percent a focus on citizen services, and 19 percent said shared services.

The report identified three hurdles public sector organizations face on the road to cloud adoption:

  • Only 43 percent of respondents said that know who is responsibly for each cloud security measure;
  • The majority (67 percent) said their workforce “is not ready to take full advantage of cloud”; and
  • Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents said they want more guidance on “how to efficiently and effectively procure cloud solutions.”

Agencies who are rapidly moving to the cloud don’t just have “the luck of the Irish” on their side; instead the report found they are following the Federal Cloud Smart policy’s advice. Respondents who ranked themselves as “advanced” cloud organizations are more likely to have implemented identity, credential, and access management guidelines, established talent development guidelines, and created cloud procurement guidance.

Fed and SLED IT leaders agree that a hybrid IT model is the most effective approach – because one cloud does not fit all. Agencies need to evaluate workloads and match to the best option – on-premises, off-premises, or in a co-location facility, survey respondents said. However, the research identifies gaps in risk management across hybrid environments. Sixty-seven percent are not performing continual risk prevention assessments across all environments and 66 percent say they are not improving consistency between on-premises and cloud security.

To overcome barriers to cloud adoption, IT leaders recommend more formal cloud training and sharing best practices across public sector organizations.

Read the full report, please click here.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.