A majority of U.S. federal agencies will rely on hybrid cloud environments within 10 years, according to a new report from MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT.

The study, sponsored by security company Fortinet, said federal IT decision makers said their ideal platform mix today is 39 percent physical servers and 61 percent cloud. Seventy percent think that within 10 years the majority of federal agencies will rely on hybrid cloud environments to power core applications.

The report is based on an online survey of 150 federal IT managers familiar with their agency’s security efforts, both inside and outside the cloud, conducted in September 2017. According to the study, the number one challenge agencies face in the cloud journey is expanding security measures and policies to cover cloud environments.

The percentage of agencies that consider their security to be “excellent” in these environments is only 35 percent for private cloud, 21 percent for public cloud; and 27 percent for moving between physical and virtual environments.

Complicating matters, 85 percent of federal IT managers describe their current infrastructure environment as “complex,” and just 34 percent report having a high level of visibility into that environment. More than half (54 percent) said this level of complexity and lack of visibility (53 percent) puts them at significant risk for a security breach.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.