Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara

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Feds Say Platform-as-a-Service Can Save US$20.5 Billion Annually in Federal IT Costs

MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “PaaS or Play? Cloud’s Next Move.” The study, underwritten by Red Hat, Inc., found that Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has the potential to cut Federal IT costs by US$20.5 billion annually, or 25 percent of the Federal government’s IT budget, by speeding up software development.

PaaS offerings enable software development and deployment in a virtual environment. In the current environment, MeriTalk’s study found that these processes move at a glacial pace, translating into higher costs. The study found that the software application development cycle takes an average of three and a half years. Feds anticipate that moving to PaaS can cut that by 31 percent, according to the new report.

“Using PaaS can save time, and time is money,” said Gunnar Hellekson, chief technology strategist, U.S. Public Sector, Red Hat. “In an era of Federal budget cuts and continued belt tightening, this new way of software development and deployment represents a significant opportunity for agencies to be more agile and much more fiscally responsible.”

Among the findings, 95 percent of Feds report that their agency would benefit from a migration to PaaS, largely through reduced costs and improved security. While just 12 percent of Feds use it today, 71 percent are considering the technology, or are actively transitioning to PaaS. Other key findings include:

  • Ninety-two percent of Feds say PaaS offers vital support for cloud computing
  • Ninety percent say it offers support for data center consolidation
  • Seventy-nine percent of Feds believe using PaaS will help their agency take advantage of shared services
  • Seventy-seven percent say new application development is vital to their agency’s ability to meet mission objectives
  • Seventy-three percent of Feds believe using PaaS will help their agency take advantage of Big Data
  • Sixty-nine percent of Feds believe using PaaS will help them take advantage of mobile computing
  • Forty-two percent of Feds believe a PaaS transition will improve security
  • Fifty percent of Feds feel they are missing out because they are “locked in” to current technology contracts
  • Feds estimate 41 percent of their agency’s software applications need refreshment or replacement

Feds believe ensuring security and overcoming leadership resistance represent challenges to a transition to PaaS. Specifically, 67 percent of Feds say security is the most significant challenge agencies face with the PaaS transition, but 83 percent of current PaaS users say they were able to transition to a PaaS model while maintaining the safety and security of their agency’s data.

“PaaS or Play? Cloud’s Next Move” is based on an online survey of 153 Federal IT executives in August 2013. The report has a margin of error of +/- 7.89 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit www.meritalk.com/PaaS-or-Play.

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit www.meritalk.com or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.

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