Is moving to the cloud too risky for government agencies’ sensitive data? Is the cloud too expensive? Will migrating hinder government performance? There’s a lot of misleading and confusing information out there when it comes to commercial cloud adoption in government, so MeriTalk and Amazon Web Services decided to clear the cloud clutter and demystify government cloud adoption once and for all with their latest research–“Fact or Fiction? Debunking Government Cloud Myths.”

Myth #1: Moving to the cloud is too risky

Despite misconceptions that cloud is too risky to host sensitive government data, the reality is that moving to the cloud is imperative for government success. Seventy-nine percent of Federal IT managers say they are comfortable turning their data over to a cloud provider. According to Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, “While technology modernization has many dimensions…accelerating the DoD’s [Department of Defense] adoption of cloud computing technologies is critical to maintaining out military’s technological advantage.”

Additionally, most Federal IT managers agree that the cloud service level they are provided has exceeded their expectations. Seventy-seven percent agree that the reliability and knowledge they experience from their cloud service provider is as good as expected or better. Even the 2017 Report to the President of Federal IT acknowledges the clouds reliability. The report states that “Major commercial cloud infrastructure providers offer excellent levels of functionality, cost effectiveness, and security because of their ability to aggregate demand across a broad range of customers.”

Myth #2: Cloud migration will hinder our performance

The reality is that Feds see the migration to the cloud as a critical step to future success. In fact, seventy-eight percent of Federal IT managers say their agency’s cloud migration helped them achieve their reliability goals. In support of that claim, the 2017 Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization states, “It is important for the rest of the government to migrate from legacy offerings to take advantage of the increased productivity and innovation that these cloud-based services offer.”

As important, agencies attributed improvements in scalability (73 percent), flexibility (71 percent), and speed (71 percent) to their cloud migrations. These improvements enable the innovation needed to successfully handle mission critical workloads. It’s clear that Federal decision-makers need cloud access move the needle–and 69 percent of Feds agree.

“Cloud technology continues to be a major catalyst in how the federal government can achieve operational efficiencies and innovate on demand to advance their respective missions,” said Jennifer Chronis, DoD general manager, Amazon Web Services. “That means solving problems faster, adapting to changing environments, dealing with sudden demand and adhering to the highest security standards. As a result, we are increasingly seeing DoD organizations migrate to the commercial cloud.”

Myth #3: Cloud is not secure enough for government

The 2017 Security Breaches in the U.S. Federal Government report shatters this myth. The report found that even a one percent increase in spending on new technology systems over legacy systems equates to a five percent decrease in security incidents. In fact, most Federal IT managers say the most significant benefit of data center modernization (including cloud migration) will be the improvements to government security.

Myth #4: Cloud is too expensive

Feds see the #1 motivator for cloud migration is cost savings. According to the Office of Management and Budget, “Moving to a cloud-based collaboration solution can bring cost savings that range from $500,000 per year for smaller agencies to $10 million per year for a larger agency–such as the Department of Justice.” And as we move forward, Feds say cloud services and solutions will be their top technology investment area over the next two years.

“We’ve all heard the noise in the Federal IT community about the pros and cons of commercial cloud adoption,” stated Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “As a result, we decided it was time to get to the bottom of it all. What we found, and what we knew all along, is that at the end of the day, cloud is the foundation for real change–offering agencies improved security and minimized risks, as well as increased scalability, availability, and so much more.”

As government agencies continue to increase cloud adoption, it’s clear that Federal IT decision-makers aren’t letting common misconceptions cloud their judgement. It’s time to ditch the tired rhetoric and embrace the inherent benefits of cloud computing now–our nation deserves the highest level of security available, the best cost saving opportunities, and improved citizen services.

Check out our infographic to get the full story.

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