Mar 11 2015

What States Want Most from Cloud Providers

If you thought agencies were most concerned about cloud vendors’ market share and analyst ratings, think again.

When it comes to moving IT services to the cloud, state and local governments aren’t beholden to industry market leaders or to solutions that have been validated by Gartner and Forrester.

What governments want most from cloud providers are reliability and implementation support, as well as ease when implementing new solutions with their existing applications and infrastructure. They’re less concerned about cloud vendors having the largest market share or even having specific experience with their organization.

When asked about the top attributes they look for in a public or hybrid cloud provider, 37 percent of IT professionals said reliability of service topped their list, according to a recent CDW survey. The survey included responses from more than 1,200 IT professionals in government, industry, education and healthcare, who have a direct role in making decisions about cloud implementation at their organizations. Federal, state and local governments made up a quarter of the survey’s respondents.

Segment-specific data from state and local respondents show that having the ability to integrate cloud solutions with existing infrastructure and having support for IT during cloud implementations were also very important. It’s clear that states want to take the complexity out of moving to the cloud.

Most state and local respondents — 64 percent — said their organizations would make more use of the cloud, but the complexity of migration and integration holds them back. Sixty percent said the cloud is “inexpensive to buy but expensive and/or difficult to implement and integrate with our other resources.”

But governments are making progress in their adoption and delivery of cloud services. On average, it took agencies 15 weeks to complete their first cloud implementation, from the first day of planning to the full deployment of the service. That time frame has dropped to 11 weeks, or about three months, for typical cloud implementations.

Storage, email and web-hosting capabilities are among the most common services agencies have moved to the cloud. The biggest barrier to moving more services to the cloud: security. Ability to trust in the available solutions and insufficient budget to invest in new solutions and approaches were among the other top concerns.

Read the full CDW report here.

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