State of Cloud Computing in American Counties
Cloud computing is almost everywhere today. Yet, many American counties are behind when it comes to cloud adoption.
That’s the conclusion from 2017 Digital Counties Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG). This survey collected a sample from many counties across the length and breadth of the country and found that 78 percent of respondents have less than 20 percent of their systems in the cloud.
One quick word about this survey – many of the counties that took part in this survey are digitally more advanced than other counties, so this number tends to reflect higher than average numbers.
If you think about it, the picture is really dismal. It goes to show that most counties have just started on the path to cloud adoption or are yet to begin this process. What could be the possible reasons?
The most important one could be lack of knowledge about the benefits that come from cloud systems. Unfortunately, there continues to be much apprehension surrounding cloud security and many counties are hesitant to put public information on the cloud. This lack of awareness about cloud security advancements is one of the major impediments when it comes to moving apps to the cloud.
The second important factor could be the cost. Moving existing apps and data to the cloud can be a costly affair, even if it’s one time and pays off eventually. The initial investment is fairly high and the existing budgetary constraints in counties can make it difficult to make this transition.
A third factor could be the presence of legacy systems. Many apps that are in place are at least a decade old, which means, they may not be so cloud friendly. Moving them to the cloud could possibly entail much effort and cost, and sometimes, the migration may be complicated too.
A combination of these three factors could be the reason for this poor cloud adoption rate among counties.
A surprising aspect is that many counties want to leverage the power of cloud by moving their data to the cloud. In fact, in the same survey, more than 45 percent of respondents said that half of their apps would be in the cloud soon. Another 22 percent said that they plan to move anywhere between 40 to 50 percent of their data to the cloud within the next year.
These are positive signs that can bring cheer to cloud specialists. From a cloud service provider’s perspective, this survey is good news because it means there’s a dearth of opportunities available in the government tech sector. However, it’s important for these providers to be more proactive and address any concerns that counties may have with respect to cloud computing.
Also, it’s important for cloud service providers to reach out not only to the richest and digitally advanced counties, but also to the relatively backward and smaller ones, so the development is uniform and everyone gets to gain some benefit out of it.
With such measures, we can expect to see improved results in the next annual survey of CDG.