Cloud Adoption Among Government Entities to Skyrocket, Says Report by Forbes Insights and Microsoft


Forbes Corporate Communications, Forbes Staff

May 21, 2015

From Promise to Reality: How Local, State and Federal Government Agencies Achieve Results in the Cloud,” a new report released today by Forbes Insights, in association with Microsoft, provides strong evidence that when it comes to cloud adoption, government agencies are fast approaching a tipping point. Many groups are moving from mere “toes in the water” to a true “cloud first” orientation, and the number and form of cloud installations in government is poised for explosive growth.

Adoption up until this point has been somewhat disappointing. For example, in spite of a highly touted “cloud first” policy, a September 2014 GAO report (“Additional Opportunities and Savings Need to Be Pursued”) about the progress of seven key federal agencies shows spending on cloud-based services as a percentage of total IT spending is a mere 2 percent.

According to the Forbes Insights report,  agencies have been migrating cautiously, with many gaining experience in the cloud on a limited or pilot basis. Pioneers are reporting that the savings are real, and the cloud earns similarly high marks for cost savings, scalability, device agnosticism—all amid outstanding, and often enhanced, levels of data security.

“This report shows that government agencies are achieving remarkable results in the cloud,” said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media. “Leaders like the City of Miami, the State of Alabama and even the Department of Defense are demonstrating that the cloud can deliver vast improvements in the quality of government.”

“Initial concerns around moving to the cloud are being countered by real-world government success stories,” said Curt Kolcun, vice president of U.S. Public Sector at Microsoft. “As for data security, government agencies across federal, state and local are learning that the cloud can address their deepest concerns and mission-critical needs. In fact, our Microsoft Cloud for Government customers are finding tremendous value in our digital government platform that enables innovation and transformation in new service models for citizen engagement.”

Key insights from the report include:

  • Familiarity leads to greater appetite. The journey to the cloud by most government agencies starts slow, with functions such as email or office productivity software. Today, as agencies become more comfortable with the cloud, these forays are leading to more in-depth implementations including more mission-critical applications.
  • Accreditations are fueling demand. More and more key government agencies are giving the nod to the cloud in the form of certifying the data security processes of certain leading providers. For example, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) reviews and certifies cloud providers and applications for government use. Other key entities giving the green light to certain leading cloud providers include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS 1075), the Department of Health and Human Services (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Criminal Justice Information Services, or CJIS).
  • The desire to provide better services is a key driver. The City of Miami wanted to improve its efficiency to better manage building inspections. Its new cloud-driven mobile and Internet application streamlines scheduling, greatly improving the experience for citizens and businesses. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services needed to rapidly replace a legacy case management tool. Transitioning to a cloud-based solution helped the department deliver a tool in 16 weeks that other agencies are now clamoring for to gain access.

About this research

Forbes Insights interviewed over a dozen agency executives, analysts and technology providers to develop a comprehensive view of the state of cloud adoption in government. Our assessment of this marketplace is based on the views of those quoted in the report.

About Forbes Insights

Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and, whose combined media properties reach nearly 50 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a host of topics of interest to C-level executives, senior marketing professionals, small business owners and those who aspire to positions of leadership, as well as providing deep insights into issues and trends surrounding wealth creation and wealth management.

Forbes Insights Laura Daunis 212-367-4874

Download the report at:

This article was written by Forbes Corporate Communications from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

There is 1 comment

  • Week 21 | import digest - 09/06/2015 00:31
    […] future for cloud specialists looks really bright as it seems that government agencies the world over are reaching tipping point in terms of cloud […]

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