Increasing cloud adoption will drive IT innovation

DevOps is a software development and IT management method that brings software engineering, quality assurance, and IT operations together as an integrated team to collaboratively manage the full application lifecycle. A new study by MeriTalk and Accenture Federal Services examines the cultural and structural barriers to cloud adoption, and potential DevOps impact.

Approximately two-thirds of Feds say DevOps will help agencies shift into the cloud fast lane – improving IT collaboration and migration speed. But help is needed, with 66 percent saying that their agency needs to move IT services to the cloud faster to meet mission and constituent needs.

Feds see real potential in DevOps – 57 percent believe DevOps can help agencies succeed in the cloud. Sixty-three percent say DevOps will speed application delivery and migration. Further, 68 percent see DevOps as a viable path to improve collaboration between IT development, security, and operations teams. Feds also anticipate faster application testing (62 percent) with a DevOps approach.

The online survey of over 150 U.S. Federal IT managers also found that they believe increasing their cloud adoption pace will boost innovation (70 percent); refresh existing applications and deploy new ones faster (69 percent); and provide more available, reliable, and secure operations (62 percent). However, a September 2014 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office, notes that agencies have only increased cloud spending by one percent in the past two years. Why the flat tire?

While security and budget concerns remain top of mind, structural and cultural issues continue to slow the race toward Federal cloud adoption. Forty-two percent of Feds cite infrastructure complexity as a top challenge to adopting cloud, followed by fear of change (40 percent), inflexible practices (40 percent), and lack of clear strategy (35 percent).

Some agencies are gaining momentum, but many are having trouble getting in gear – since the introduction of cloud, fewer than half of Federal agencies (44 percent) have made process or policy changes, 30 percent cultural changes, and 28 percent organizational changes. Federal agencies aren’t properly equipped – only 12 percent of Feds say their IT department has all of the tools they need to transition to the cloud. Four out of five IT managers (78 percent) believe their IT department needs to improve collaboration to enable a more streamlined move to the cloud. But, only one in 10 Federal IT managers say developers and administrators are highly collaborative.

Of Feds familiar with DevOps, just five percent say their agency has fully deployed the DevOps model. However, 60 percent can see DevOps in their agency’s future. In fact, approximately one-third (32 percent) of Feds familiar with DevOps had already adopted the model or planned to do so within the year.

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