Virtualization Technology News and Information
Study Reveals Only 6.9 Percent of Federal IT Officials Agree with a Public Cloud Model; More Than 68 Percent Support Private or Hybrid Models

Quest Software Public Sector, Inc., a subsidiary of Quest Software, today announced the results of the Pulse on Public Sector Virtualization and Cloud Computing Study of federal, state and local, and higher education IT professionals. The survey was conducted by the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Norwich University, which was designated as a Center of Excellence by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security. The study reveals new and significant data on virtualization management, cloud computing attitudes, barriers and incentives to cloud adoption, as well as cloud’s impact on resource management, mandate compliance, and security standards.   

“The survey reveals a number of noteworthy findings. What was most striking to me was that government and higher ed IT professionals have clearly expressed their preference for private and hybrid cloud models,” said William Clements, Ph.D., dean and professor at the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, Norwich University. “The survey results cast light on the critical importance of long-term planning and management of cloud computing, having an “exit strategy,” ensuring security, and successfully managing virtualized environments.”

Key findings of the Pulse on Public Sector Virtualization and Cloud Computing Study include:

Federal Market Findings

  • The overwhelming majority of federal respondents (90.3 percent) said they don’t have or are unaware if they have a cloud computing exit strategy, which agencies need if they want to move their data and/or change cloud providers.
  • The majority of federal IT professionals (68.1 percent) believe that private or hybrid clouds will best meet their organizational needs five years or more from now.
  • While the plurality of federal respondents (28.0 percent) named cost savings as their biggest incentive to adopt cloud computing, a large number of federal IT professionals (21.1 percent) believe that cloud computing will provide them with better mission support.
  • A very small percentage of public sector respondents (6.9 percent) see the public cloud model as a viable long-term option for their organization.
  • The majority of federal survey participants (64.7 percent) report that there is some level of confusion at their organization about the distinction between cloud computing and virtualization.
  • Federal respondents (56.4 percent) believe that existing federal security standards and regulations (such as FISMA & FedRAMP) need to be supplemented with additional cloud security standards and regulations, best practices and guidelines.
  • The majority of federal IT professionals (62.2 percent) said that Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra’s initiative to eliminate at least 800 of the government’s data centers by 2015 is somewhat to very feasible.
  • According to federal respondents, lack of in-house expertise is a bigger barrier to private cloud adoption than upfront costs.

State and Local Market Findings

  • The significant majority of state and local respondents (71.7 percent) said that virtualization has made it easier to manage their environment.
  • Nearly 20 percent of state & local government respondents said that their organization has already purchased and fully implemented virtualization technologies – almost twice the percentage of Federal agencies that have virtualized.
  • When it comes to the biggest barrier to private cloud adoption, state and local government respondents (18.9 percent) state upfront costs to implementation.
  • State & local government IT managers show a strong interest in Federal cloud security initiatives as demonstrated by the 36.2% of them who want to see more Federal cloud mandates, guidelines, etc.
  • More than 60% of state & local respondents prefer a hybrid or private cloud model over a public model (9.4 percent) in the long-term.

Higher Education Market Findings

  • The majority of higher education respondents (60.7 percent) believe that a national cloud for higher education created by the federal government would be of benefit to colleges and universities.
  • Cloud computing will drive more intra-institutional collaboration according to 60.6% of higher ed respondents.
  • The plurality of higher education respondents (28.9 percent) stated that the momentum toward cloud computing is driven by the need for better access to and integration of shared resources.
  • Distance learning is a top priority for higher education respondents in 2011-12, according to a plurality (27 percent) of higher education respondents.
  • The majority of higher education professionals (62.5 percent) are optimistic about cloud computing.
  • According to the majority of the higher education respondents (37.0 percent), IT budgets for the 2011-12 academic school year will remain the same.

"Cloud is not the only solution to every problem, but with proper planning and management, can provide numerous benefits to public sector organizations,” said Paul Garver, chief executive officer of Quest Software Public Sector. “At Quest, our mission is to help public sector organizations more rapidly mature and manage their virtualization environments, and leverage the foundation to provision virtualized resources quickly in a cloud environment,” he added.

The Norwich University poll of 646 respondents (307 federal; 128 state & local; and 211 higher education) was fielded, hosted, and analyzed from March – May 2011. Respondents included U.S. federal, state, local and municipal government, and higher education institution IT decision makers with the following job functions: C-Level Management/Command; Executive/Senior/Comptroller/Division Management; Programs/Project Management; Administration/Operation Management; and IT/IS/DP/Network/System Management. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 3.85% at the 95% confidence interval for aggregated results.

Quest Software leads the way in private cloud automation and management with more than 70 successful customer deployments of private cloud over the past six years. Quest’s Cloud Automation Platform offers flexible, robust, and scalable infrastructure as a service (IaaS) private clouds that provide customers with unmatched ability to take full advantage of their existing infrastructure. Quest’s cloud solution dramatically increases IT’s ability to respond to organizational needs by ensuring self-service resource delivery across mixed environments and multiple hypervisor technologies.

Published Monday, May 23, 2011 6:22 PM by David Marshall
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