Federal Agencies Face Uphill Battle Over Data Center Improvement

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Just 11 percent of Federal IT managers say their data centers are fully equipped to meet their agency’s current mission demands, according to a report by MeriTalk.

The report, titled “Flash Forward–The Future of the Federal Data Center” and underwritten by Pure Storage, asked 150 Federal IT/data center professionals to predict and examine the future of Federal data centers. It found that less than 5 percent have the security, speed, or capacity they’ll need in 2021, with the main priority to improve security of those data centers.

Three of the major concerns for security improvements included investing in stronger security measures, increasing training and preparedness for employees, and hiring more cybersecurity professionals. Respondents were also concerned with shrinking the footprint of their data centers as well as increasing computing speed and capacity.

Many of those surveyed agreed that a major priority was transitioning applications into the cloud, enabling them to meet the goal of closing 2,078 data centers by the end of 2019.

“With the passage of FITARA, and the Cloud Infrastructure Transition Act on the launch pad, Federal IT efficiency is poised for radical change,” said Dan Heydenfeldt, vice president of public sector and health care at Pure Storage. “We need to invest in intelligent solutions to determine which workloads move to the cloud and which remain on-prem while ensuring that all aspects of the data center–network, compute, and storage–are fast, dense, and a lower cost.”

Those lower costs are estimated to amount to $10 billion annually, should the Federal government implement proposed changes. But that implementation is not a guarantee, as the survey found that only about half of the respondents believed that their agency would be FITARA compliant by 2021, while 55% of Civilian agencies believed they would comply with the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) by 2021.

“Flash Forward–The Future of the Federal Data Center” is based on an online survey of 150 Federal IT managers familiar with the current and future state of their agency’s data center in January and February 2016. The report has a margin of error of plus or minus 7.97% at a 95% confidence level.

Jessie Bur
About Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Cybersecurity, FedRAMP, GSA, Congress, Treasury, DOJ, NIST and Cloud Computing.
2 Comments
  1. Anonymous | - Reply
    The low numbers from the survey are quite alarming. Just 11% are confident their data centers are fully equipped to meet their agency’s current mission demands, and less than 5% have the security, speed, or capacity they’ll need in 2021? Hope these numbers rise
  2. Anonymous | - Reply
    Definitely some concerning statistics. 2021 will be here before agencies know it, and less than 5% have the security, speed, or capacity needed? This doesn't look good for data center consolidation.

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