Federal Agencies Are at a Cloud Crossroads

 
 
By Gina Roos  |  Posted 2014-09-25 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Cloud Use Plans
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    Cloud Use Plans

    Agencies want to double their cloud use for infrastructure (from 23% to 43%), platform/middleware (from 19% to 41%) and software/apps (from 27% to 49%), but 89% of IT respondents feel apprehensive about migrating to the cloud.
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    2 - Steps Toward Data Governance
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    Steps Toward Data Governance

    Only 44% of IT respondents said their agencies have "mature" data governance practices in the cloud; 56% said their agencies are in the process of implementing data stewardship or a more formal data governance program for their cloud services and vendors.
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    3 - Data Governance Policies
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    Data Governance Policies

    When it comes to data governance policies, 61% of IT respondents said they do not have quality documented metadata, 52% do not have well-understood data integration processes, 50% have not defined/identified data owners and 49% do not have known systems of record.
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    4 - Cloud Service Management Challenges
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    Cloud Service Management Challenges

    IT respondents said they do not feel they are successfully managing data governance with their cloud services in several areas, including remediation for data exceptions (44%), data integration (41%), collaboration/interoperability (40%) and data profiling (39%).
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    5 - Keeping It In-House
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    Keeping It In-House

    Agencies manage 71% of data stewardship themselves while cloud vendors manage 29%.
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    6 - Trust in Cloud Vendors
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    Trust in Cloud Vendors

    89% of agencies have taken steps to manage trust with their cloud vendors. Steps include keeping security functions on-premises (42%) and requiring certification of security measures taken by cloud vendors (41%).
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    7 - Cloud Security Concerns
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    Cloud Security Concerns

    Only one in five IT professionals is completely confident in their cloud vendors' security. Although 54% said security is their top concern, only 20% said security provided by cloud vendors is completely sufficient. Cloud gateways may bridge the gap: 31% of respondents said they have deployed or plan to deploy them.
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    8 - Sharing Security Responsibilities
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    Sharing Security Responsibilities

    Some agencies are working with cloud vendors to share security responsibilities, including encrypting data in transit (33%), managing access to cloud-based apps (31%), supporting intrusion detection (31%) and forcing regular password changes (27%).
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    9 - Delegating Responsibilities to Cloud Vendors
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    Delegating Responsibilities to Cloud Vendors

    Agencies are comfortable with sharing and delegating responsibilities to cloud providers for processes, including 24-hour monitoring (60%), intrusion detection (55%), cloud access management (52%), daily hardware/software patch release monitoring (51%) and encrypting data in transit (51%).
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    10 - Cloud Brokerage Services
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    Cloud Brokerage Services

    26% of agencies currently use or plan to use a cloud brokerage service, while 28% currently use or plan to use an on-premises data broker, and 9% use both.
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    11 - Agencies That Use Cloud Brokerage Services
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    Agencies That Use Cloud Brokerage Services

    62% of agencies that are using or planning to use a cloud brokerage service are more comfortable handing their agencies' IT services and apps to cloud providers than those who do not (34%).
 

Federal agencies want to double their cloud use, but 89 percent of federal IT professionals still feel some apprehension about migrating to the cloud, according to a report, "Cloud Control: Moving to the Comfort Zone," from MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on government IT, in conjunction with NetApp and Arrow ECS. Although government agencies are gaining benefits through cloud implementations—55 percent of the 153 federal IT pros surveyed said the cloud makes data management/stewardship easier—concerns around data stewardship, including a lack of key elements in data governance policies, can slow or stop migrations. Roadblocks related to managing cloud services and vendors include remediation for data exceptions, data integration and collaboration/interoperability. The good news: Agencies are taking steps to improve their data governance practices and to manage trust with their cloud vendors. The survey finds that many IT pros who use or plan to use a cloud brokerage service "are significantly more comfortable turning their agencies' IT services over to cloud providers." Here are 10 key takeaways from the report.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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