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Legacy Networks Stifle Government Cloud Migration; Struggle to Keep Pace With Demands of Next-Gen Tech, Research Study Finds

MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its new report, "Cloud Complexity: Navigating the Network Piece of the Federal Cloud Puzzle." The study, underwritten by Riverbed Technology and Tech Data Government Solutions, surveyed 150 Federal IT decision makers to understand their agency's cloud migration plans and network modernization efforts.

The study confirmed that 67 percent of government agencies' legacy network infrastructures are simply not prepared to handle the cloud migration lift or keep pace with the changing demands of cloud and hybrid networks. One of the biggest areas holding agencies back is the chaos and lack of prioritization to properly update networks necessary for cloud adoption and IT modernization efforts, 51 percent of managers reported. Respondents also noted that to reach their cloud goals, agencies need to increase network capacity and speed, reduce complexity, and improve visibility.

Despite this, 22 percent of respondents said their network is completely prepared to handle cloud migration. And, 98 percent said their agency has made progress on its cloud journey thanks to the IT Modernization Report, FedRAMP, and FITARA. Other top methods to addressing network complexity include taking an inventory of the current network to identify key issues, increasing redundancy, and adding bandwidth.

But it's not all foggy for government agencies looking to move to the cloud. Eighty-three percent of Federal IT managers say network modernization and cloud adoption will help their agency deliver on its mission over the next five years, with 57 percent saying it will improve data services and cyber security requirements, and 43 percent saying it will improve employee productivity. Agencies that are successfully prioritizing network modernization today are significantly less likely to say their networks are impeding cloud progress - 42 percent compared to 89 percent.

So what exactly is on the line for government agencies as they piece together the cloud puzzle and work to modernize their legacy networks? On the one hand, respondents said network modernization could reduce the time it takes their agency to fully migrate to the cloud by an average of 27 percent - allowing them more time to innovate and address other agency needs. Additionally, respondents noted that next-generation networks are crucial to ensuring their cloud strategies reach their full potential. Eighty-three percent also see digital performance management as key to future cloud success, despite being in the early stages of adoption, and 79 percent say having visibility across networks and applications is critical to managing them successfully.

As the study suggests, the road ahead to fully achieving network modernization and navigating the path to cloud won't be an easy one. But as respondents said, defining network needs up front, prioritizing network modernization, and continuously communicating with internal and external stakeholders for greater control throughout the process will help piece the cloud puzzle together easily. To download the full report, please visit

Published Monday, October 15, 2018 9:53 AM by David Marshall
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