DoD IT Managers Say Modernization Vital to Stem National Security Risk

An overwhelming majority–86 percent–of 150 Defense Department (DoD) IT managers surveyed by MeriTalk said that failing to modernize legacy DoD systems is putting U.S. national security in jeopardy, and a similar number (83 percent) are concerned about the potential of the U.S. falling behind adversaries like China and Russia in newer-technology arenas, including cyberspace, artificial intelligence, and electronic warfare.

At the same time, nearly all–96 percent–of those surveyed said their organization’s current technology solutions are in need of modernization, with 61 percent of respondents saying that at least half of their systems are outdated.

The MeriTalk research study–underwritten by Amazon Web Services and Red Hat–further found that 80 percent of respondents believe DoD needs to improve its use of cloud services to maintain the U.S. military’s technological advantages, with 81% viewing accelerating cloud adoption at DoD as “critical.”

On average, the DoD IT managers surveyed by MeriTalk recommended moving more than half of their current on-premises data to the cloud, and more than 80 percent envision cloud building the foundation for advanced technologies including big data analytics, electronic warfare, and shared services.

The DoD IT managers who consider themselves cloud “innovators” and “early adopters” were much happier than managers considered to be cloud “laggards,” with 53% of the former group saying they are “very satisfied” with the organization’s current technology solutions, versus a “very satisfied” rating given by just 11 percent of those still behind the cloud curve.

The study is based on results of an online survey conducted in May and June, and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 7.9 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. All of the IT managers surveyed are involved in their organization’s decisions or recommendations regarding cloud-based IT services.

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