Head in the cloud


As the headline suggests, much of the focus here at SSN lately is on the cloud, specifically our second annual Cloud+ conference, which is in Austin, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Nov. 29-30. This year’s conference program is designed to provide answers to many of the questions that manufacturers, integrators and end users have when thinking about going to a cloud-based or cloud-hosted solution.

During my time at ASIS 2016 last week, and speaking with attendees, I found that many who have already ventured into the cloud are seeing positive outcomes, while many more are thinking about and/or looking into how they can leverage the cloud to better serve customers. One take-away from the show and these conversations: Cloud-based technology is transforming the security industry.

In terms of adoption, the public sector is embracing the cloud in a big way. A new study that came out this week reveals that 82 percent of public sector cloud adopters say their agency or institution will increase spending on cloud computing in 2017, including 85 percent federal, 81 percent higher education and 76 percent state and local, according to a new report, Destination Cloud: The Federal and SLED Cloud Journey, by MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT.

The five-year outlook is even more interesting, with plans to nearly double cloud use from 35 percent up to 60 percent, the study found.

Public sector cloud adopters are stepping on the gas, according to the report, from police stations and state colleges to our nation’s capital. Today, 55 percent of cloud adopters are evaluating cloud solutions as part of their overall IT strategy and the remaining 45 percent are evaluating cloud solutions for a limited number of specific applications.

Early cloud adopters report that cost saving is a key cloud driver—65 percent of federal, 67 percent of state and local, and 59 percent of higher education. In addition, respondents say they now look to cloud options first when considering new investments—65 percent federal, 56 percent state and local, and 63 percent higher education.

Those investments have huge returns, according to the report. Public sector cloud adopters see improvements in productivity, customer services, and cost savings by moving applications to the cloud. 

This is why Cloud+ is such an essential conference, as it provides the perfect forum for mapping out a strategy and plan moving forward into this great new technological frontier that we call the cloud.