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Data governance challenges are holding back US federal government agencies from moving to the cloud

Data governance challenges are holding back US federal government agencies from moving to the cloud

Nearly ninety per cent of federal government IT professionals are apprehensive about migrating their agencies’ systems to the cloud, with many migration projects still being held up by cloud-related data governance challenges, recently published research by MeriTalk reveals. Research by the same firm earlier this summer suggests these agencies could be missing out on roughly $19bn in savings.

The survey of 153 US federal government IT professionals, which was commissioned by Arrow and NetApp, suggests the overwhelming majority (89 per cent) are apprehensive about moving to the cloud, with concerns about data governance demonstrably slowing or completely halting migration projects altogether.

Just 44 per cent of respondents indicated they have “mature” data governance practices in the cloud. And the results suggest federal government agencies need to make these practices more robust, with 61 per cent of respondents claiming their agencies don’t have quality, documented metadata, and 52 per cent saying they lack well-understood data integration across their organisations.

Nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed said their agencies still require data to reside on dedicated on premise infrastructure, in part because of perceptions of cloud security. While 54 per cent of respondents cite security as their top concern, only one in five feels that the security offered by their cloud vendors is sufficient.

“The benefits cloud offers are immense, but with the introduction of new hybrid cloud architectures, data stewardship becomes even more complex, as data must be managed and accessed across any cloud,” said Kirk Kern, chief technology officer, US public sector at NetApp.

“Federal agencies must establish enterprise-wide governance practices, while deploying solutions that streamline data mobility and stewardship across cloud models. Cloud consumers must develop data management processes and role-based control mechanisms to ensure success,” Kern said.

The research comes just months after another MeriTalk study concluded federal government IT staff see a very limited role for cloud services within their overall IT strategy. The organisation claims the feds may be missing out on nearly $19bn in IT savings.