IDC Government Insights releases cloud forecast for post-fiscal 2014

Private cloud spending expected to rise to $7.7 billion by fiscal 2017

IDC Government Insights has released a forecast that examines how the federal government is spending part of its IT budget on cloud-based solutions.

Called Perspective: Growth and Slight Contraction – Government Cloud Spending by U.S. Federal Agency, the forecast predicts a rise of cloud spending increases after fiscal 2014.

This rise is due to the U.S. Federal CIO Council’s urging over the past three years that government agencies move toward cloud architecture, which has worked itself into enterprise architecture standards and rules.

These rules help to create a commodity approach to cloud solutions, influencing the predicted rise in cloud spending increases, IDC Government Insights said in a release.

IDC’s report also made a number of other findings.

Private cloud is preferred government cloud service, mainly due to concerns over privacy; agencies are still investing in public cloud, however, for things like development platforms, website or e-mail hosting or even low-risk, long-term data storage.

Public cloud spending is expected to rise from $110.4 million in fiscal 2012 to $118.3 million in fiscal 2014. Private cloud spending will rise from $1.5 billion in fiscal 2012 to $1.7 billion in fiscal 2014, and IDC expects this market to reach $7.7 billion by fiscal 2017. Community cloud spending is expected to decrease from $379.7 million in fiscal 2012 to $313.5 million in fiscal 2014. Hybrid cloud spending will barely change from $77.4 million in fiscal 2012 to $77.3 million in fiscal 2014.

The Treasury Department is both the leading public cloud consumer and the leading hybrid cloud consumer; the Social Security Administration is leading private cloud consumer; and the Justice Department is leading community cloud consumer.

In government, infrastructure as a service is the leading type of cloud, and is expected to grow to $5.4 billion by fiscal 2017; in other industries, software as a service leads it out, and is expected to grow to $2.4 billion by fiscal 2017. Platform as a service will grow to $1.1 billion during this time.

From a technology standpoint, the Justice Department is leading consumer of SaaS, and the Social Security Administration is leading consumer of both IaaS and platform as a service.

Cloud investments have stalled in 2013 and 2014 by a number of factors, including:

  • Sequestration
  • Slowdown in system consolidation efforts
  • Complexity of establishing enterprise architecture standards

IDC Government Insights expects to see an end to this by mid-2014, and expects federal cloud spending to resume, especially after 2015, the company said.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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