U.S. government cloud spending leveling off

Shawn McCarthy of Government Computing News outlines a few trends for federal government spending for 2014 in the article Government IT in 2014: More connections, more exposure, more risk. Several have obvious parallels in Canada, but there’s a dearth of hard numbers about Canadian government cloud adoption to compare with American trends.

Patterns for cloud adoption in the U.S. government are necessarily very different from the private sector. Because of security needs, private cloud spending outnumbers public cloud spending by 20 to one, a trend McCarthy doesn’t expect to change soon.

And while software-as-a-service is the most popular solution type in the private sector, infrastructure as a service dominates. IaaS will account for about two-thirds of U.S. government cloud spending by 2017, by McCarthy’s reckoning.

That year seems to be a watershed in McCarthy’s calculations; while cloud spending will reach $1.7 billion next year, or 3.3 per cent of the IT budget, that number will grow to $7.7 by 2017.

While a 2010 Industry Canada consultation paper pointed to the need for government to be a “model user,” specifically with respect to cloud computing, high-tech leaders have been impatiently calling on the government for a “cloud-first” approach to IT procurement, such as the U.K.’s.  Slow-to-change procurement processes and the government’s shared service delivery model may be having an impact on cloud adoption, but Canadian business has also been tentative about cloud adoption.

Other government IT trends McCarthy sees developing in the U.S. are mirrored here.

For example, he expects more “smart city” solutions to develop at the local level, particularly in the evolution of 311 call centre services, which are widespread in Canadian cities. Canadian cities are also frequently recognized by the Intelligent Community Forum.

McCarthy also cites an emphasis on connection security, predicting 10-12 per cent increases in authentication spending over the next three years.

Read the full story on GCN.

Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

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