New Cloud Spending Visibility Isn’t on the Horizon…It’s Already Here

photo_Tomas-O'Keefe_65x85by Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst

Agencies are pursuing a handful of major initiatives to continue modernizing the IT landscape in the federal government. One of the Administration’s pushes within their Digital Government Strategy is directing agencies to look toward cloud solutions to create savings and enhance service delivery. The Cloud First Policy would require agencies to default to cloud-based solutions when evaluating options for new IT deployments “whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists.” Following this line, OMB added something new and exciting to this year’s Exhibit 53s: this year agencies have included a breakout of cloud spending as a portion of their reporting. This means that cloud vendors have a better inkling of which investments are already on, or are going to be on, the cloud.

There are two new sources of information about cloud spending included in this year’s Exhibit 53s:

1. The first is in the traditional spreadsheet the administration makes available, where agencies have added three separate columns that detail cloud spending for the prior year (FY2012), current year (FY2013), and the budget year (FY2014). This is a great way for cloud vendors to get an idea of the applications that are going to on the cloud, or at least the applications the government would like to be on the cloud (barring the ever-constant budgetary challenges).

2. The second is a representation of the agency’s cloud computing portfolio. This exhibit breaks down the level of spending an agency has committed to the different types of cloud – private, public, community, and hybrid – and also shows us the level of spending in infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). While we don’t necessarily have directly actionable opportunities as a result of this information, it is definitely something cloud vendors should take a look at before their next meeting with agency leadership.

One final note, the agency with the highest level of cloud spending may not be whom you initially think it is. Want to guess? Go ahead, we’ll give you a minute…got it? Okay. It’s not Defense, nor is it Treasury. It’s the Social Security Administration, with, according to the Exhibit 53s, nearly $1B in private cloud spending alone! Check out the table below for the top 10 agencies by cloud spending for FY2014, with all figures in $M:
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About Tomas O'Keefe
Tom O'Keefe has over 7 years of market research experience as an Analyst and Consultant in the federal space. He also earned an MA in Political Science from George Mason University. He has covered both civilian and defense agencies and has presented to clients ranging from junior-level associates to executives from some of the largest Systems Integrators and contractors in the federal marketplace.

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