Study: Majority of Federal Agencies Lack Cloud Exit Plan

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Ninety percent of public-sector agencies lack a cloud-computing exit strategy, and a majority of federal IT professionals say there is some level of confusion at their organization about the distinction between cloud computing and virtualization, according to a new study by Quest Software Public Sector.

Titled Pulse on Public Sector Virtualization and Cloud Computing Study, the survey polled 646 federal, state and local, and higher education IT professionals, and “reveals a number of noteworthy findings,” said William Clements, dean and professor at the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, Norwich University, which conducted the research.

“What was most striking to me was that government and higher-ed IT professionals have clearly expressed their preference for private and hybrid cloud models,” he said. “The survey results cast light on the critical importance of long-term planning and management of cloud computing, having an ‘exit strategy,’ ensuring security, and successfully managing virtualized environments.”

The study found  an overwhelming majority of respondents (90.3 percent) said they do not have or are unaware if they have a cloud computing exit strategy, which agencies need if they want to move their data and/or change cloud providers. Also, 64.7 percent report there is some uncertainty in their workplace about the difference between cloud computing and virtualization.

Most of the participants (68.1 percent) believe private or hybrid clouds will best meet their organizational needs five years or more from now. And while more than one-fourth of respondents said saving money was their biggest motivation to adopt cloud computing, 21.1 percent believe cloud computing will provide them with better mission support.

“Cloud is not the only solution to every problem, but with proper planning and management, can provide numerous benefits to public-sector organizations,” said Paul Garver, chief executive officer of Quest Software Public Sector. “At Quest, our mission is to help public-sector organizations more rapidly mature and manage their virtualization environments, and leverage the foundation to provision virtualized resources quickly in a cloud environment.”


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