> Top 8 Reasons Why Government Will Be Slow to Accept the Cloud ~ Venturebeat

Top 8 Reasons Why Government Will Be Slow to Accept the Cloud

Top 8 Reasons Why Government Will Be Slow to Accept the Cloud
Top 8 Reasons Why Government Will Be Slow to Accept the Cloud

Federal and state government officials often boast the benefits of utilizing modern technology to improve their services to taxpayers and the operation of government in general. Cloud technology is one of the latest areas being experimented with but, despite all the press, it’s far harder to implement in practice. The reasons below are often the most common obstacles to fast government utilization to cloud resources and new technology tools:

1. We’re Afraid of What Our People Will Do

There are plenty of open cloud resources that federal and state agencies could use immediately for very little or no cost altogether. Unfortunately, IT administrators will be the first to point out these available tools can’t be secured, so they have no control over data or files that people transfer onto the public cloud tools. As a result, they are often banned from agency use. Typical examples include Dropbox, social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook, form processing services and similar.

2. It Costs Too Much

Private cloud resources do require some outlay of cash and funding to get started and then to be maintained. General administrative resources don’t often provide the bells and whistles politicians like to put their support behind. As a result, good ideas don’t get funded because they are considered bureaucratic fat.

3. We Will be Sued 

Some agencies, rightly so, know that create data on cloud resources will create a large amount of information about what is discussed and done. Both lawsuits and public record act requests are regularly used to obtain this information and then force the agency to behave otherwise. Many in government management have concluded it’s far better to avoid the problem altogether by not creating the data in the first place.

4. No One Can Agree on What’s Needed 

Agency managers often have to deal with infighting and internal policy struggles to get things to fruition. It’s often the case that a program manager and an IT manager completely disagree on the right tool for the job, which then means progress is stuck in stalemate until the sides can agree on a compromise or get ordered from above to shut up and produce.

5. The System Can’t be Maintained

For a government system to remain viable, even a cloud system, it needs to be maintained by trained staff. Many databases can’t be trusted to third parties, so the staff need to be internal. Unfortunately, turnover tends to take people faster than trainees can be brought in, leaving the maintenance side stuck when a key person is lost. Some agencies avoid the issue altogether by not implementing a system if maintenance can’t be guaranteed.

6. Control Agencies Add Bureaucracy

Most government agencies are not allowed to entirely operate on their own. Control agencies oversee activities, including IT outlay, and dictate their own standard policies that have to be met. These policies often don’t fit unique needs of agencies, but to get an IT system approved for funding the agency has to follow them. Often, the requirements can drive unnecessary costs or features that make no practical sense.

7. Insufficient Data Storage

One of the benefits of the cloud is that it moves functions and data storage onto third party servers, which makes it cost effective for the user. In government, however, the data has to be maintained on government services due to privacy and government operation rules. Because a cloud system can generate a lot of storage fast, many agencies don’t have the existing server resources to take on the exponential data growth.

8. A Private Cloud Doesn’t Save Money

In some cases agencies have actually performed a solid cost-benefit analysis and found, with everything involved in producing a private cloud system that is secure, the approach would cost more than what is being used currently. In that respect, while the cloud sounds like an efficient idea, it doesn’t flesh out to be a viable one with taxpayer funds.
Government in the U.S. is often a slow process of incrementalism when it comes to change, including technology and the latest offerings with cloud-based resources. Much of this slow nature is due to the multiple voices and decision-makers involved in a program approval process, even if the tool on its face looks far more efficient than what is currently used.

As a result, many government agencies and particularly large ones tend to adopt new tools over time versus right away, irrespective of what the private side may think or decide.
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