Cloud Spending in FY19: Three Areas to Watch

Chris WiedemannBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

With record-setting projections for cloud purchases in the government by the end of FY18, customers are going to be more open to cloud-based solutions than ever before. Offering technology in the cloud will be increasingly important to retaining business, because customers who were once open to on-premise deployments may begin to look elsewhere for answers.

Here are three cloud trends and opportunities for FY19

  1. SaaS and infrastructure migration. Existing data and workloads are being migrated to the cloud, largely as part of the Data Center Optimization Initiative. While that will continue, Software as a Service will become more common in the federal space – especially for common business requirements like ERP, supply chain management and financial/CPIC management. Look for opportunities accordingly.
  2. Success in the channel means complementary and specialized offerings. A common theme in both IaaS and SaaS is market consolidation towards hyperscale providers (Amazon, Microsoft, etc.), creating an uneven playing field. Fortunately, your territory knowledge, customer relationships and the ability to recommend, build and deliver unique solutions, will be critical in the federal cloud channel. Think of yourself as a consulting partner and trusted advisor in the cloud. You know what your customers need, and you know the challenges presented by moving to the cloud. That’s important differentiation.
  3. JEDI won’t solve all of DOD’s cloud problems – yet. There is a specific point in FY19 DOD appropriations bill forbidding DOD from spending any appropriated funds on JEDI until the department provides Congress with more details. That includes both on how DOD intends to measure spending and cost savings through cloud services, and also how the Department intends to ensure competition in a post-JEDI cloud world. Even if these reports are mere formalities, JEDI’s award timeline could shift, which may mean lengthy delays in the program’s rollout. Don’t assume that JEDI will be the final word in DOD cloud at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Cloud seems finally to be living up to the hype that began in 2010. Now’s the time to use it to your advantage – or run the risk of being left behind.

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This blog was adapted from an article that originally appeared in Washington Technology. The full article can be found here.

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