MeriTalk, an online community that focuses on government IT issues, has stated that the federal government could save $18.9 billion, or 23 percent of the average agency's IT budget, by migrating its applications and services to the cloud.

A new MeriTalk survey underwritten by AT&T titled Cloud Confusion: Is Private Cloud Holding Feds Back? revealed government agencies that fully incorporated the cloud into their overall strategy saved an average of 18 percent over those that did not.

Researchers also noted the majority of federal agency leaders said they did not prioritize cloud adoption, despite the potential cost savings cloud apps and services could deliver.

"Every organization has its own unique mission, security requirements, data sensitivities and operational parameters. Helping agencies address those considerations is critical to the federal government realizing the full benefits and potential of cloud," Chris Smith, AT&T's government solutions vice president for technology, said in a prepared statement.

Researchers collected data from 159 federal IT executives in May 2014 for the survey, and some of the other results included:

  • 73 percent of survey respondents said their agencies were using at least one cloud model.
  • 51 percent said they have used the cloud only for a limited number of specific applications.
  • 41 percent said their agency is considering leveraging the cloud as part of their overall IT strategy.
  • The majority of federal agency leaders gave their agency a C-grade or below on their progress toward leveraging the cloud.
  • Federal agencies are making the majority of their cloud investments in private clouds.

The survey showed the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was important for government agencies that want to adopt cloud apps and services as well.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they were more likely to consider and select a hybrid, community or public cloud solution because of FedRAMP.

What is FedRAMP?

FedRAMP is a government-wide program that standardizes authorization, monitoring and security assessments for cloud products and services.

Cloud services providers (CSPs) such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Oracle (ORCL) have already achieved FedRAMP status; however, several CSPs missed last month's FedRAMP certification deadline.

The FedRAMP review process can take between four-and-a-half to six months to complete.

A full list of FedRAMP compliant CSPs is available here.

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