The Federal cloud crystal ball continues to become clearer as agencies work with employees to ease their cloud concerns, address vendor lock-in hesitations, and identify key areas within their agencies where cloud can really make a difference.

Against that backdrop, MeriTalk is continuing to work with Amazon Web Services on a weekly poll gathering Federal IT decision makers’ thoughts on agency cloud adoption. This month, we sought out to understand Feds’ cloud comfort level, how vendor-lock in concerns are impacting adoption, and where Feds see the future of cloud in Federal IT. Here are our findings from Month Three:

Cloud Comfort Levels

Federal IT pros are becoming increasingly comfortable with commercial cloud security.

Feds are becoming more and more open to commercial cloud solutions, with 68 percent saying they’ve become more comfortable with the security of commercial cloud in the past two years. Feds have also become considerably more comfortable with commercial cloud migration and the amount of control they have with it, 54 percent and 55 percent, respectively.

Vendor Lock-in Concerns

Fed IT pros have concerns about vendor lock-in when it comes to cloud, but some are less concerned than they used to be and most say cloud is still worth it.

While nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Fed IT pros have vendor lock-in concerns, 58 percent say they would rather have cloud than be without it. And as Feds get more closely acclimated to the process, vendor lock-in concerns have dissipated for some. Thirty-six percent of Fed IT pros are less concerned about vendor lock-in when it comes to cloud than they were two years ago. Additionally, 43 percent say they are no more concerned with vendor lock-in when it comes to cloud than with traditional infrastructure purchases.

Data Dive

Fed IT pros see cloud as a critical component for future data efforts.

Nearly all (97 percent) say cloud will allow their agency to use data more effectively. And cloud’s impact isn’t just limited to future Federal benefits – 77 percent of Fed IT pros say they have a data set that would be better suited for the cloud today than in its current environment. Many also see cloud as an important stepping stone to advanced data analytics. Forty-six percent of Fed IT managers say agencies need to establish a solid cloud environment before adopting next-gen data technologies, such as machine learning and deep learning.

Cloud’s Future Impact

Fed IT pros see cloud benefits on the horizon, but are divided on how long it will be before progress is seen.

The large majority (80 percent) of Fed IT pros say cloud will be the new normal in government within five years. Respondents also say that constituents and Fed employees will most benefit from the government’s move to the cloud, 52 percent and 40 percent, respectively. But Feds are split on exactly how soon government will start seeing the benefits of cloud adoption – 45 percent say within two years, 43 percent say it’ll take more than two years, and 12 percent are unsure.

It’s clear that Federal IT professionals are becoming increasingly comfortable with the changes brought forth by cloud adoption. As Feds to continue their cloud journey, agencies and vendors must work together to address remaining concerns – including vendor lock-in fears – identify data sets and applications already suited for cloud migration, and talk realistically about how soon to expect the variety of benefits cloud offers.

Do you agree or disagree with our survey findings? Share your thoughts with us below. And, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our findings from Month One and Month Two.

We also invite you to visit to learn more about how Amazon Web Services offers flexible and secure cloud services – that enable innovation and deliver costs savings.

*Based on a weekly survey of more than 100 Federal IT professionals

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