A majority of state governments have adopted “cloud first” preferences when it comes to considering new applications or looking to upgrade existing legacy systems. According to the new report “The 2016 State CIO Survey” from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), over 70 percent of state CIOs say they have “cloud first” policies that are either formal, informal, or in development.

But many of the same CIOs said technology is advancing such that a “cloud first” concept may no longer be relevant.

“Cloud first is antiquated,” one state CIO was quoted as saying. “It’s artificially restraining. If you’re doing what you should be doing you are creating an environment where modern software capabilities transcend that question.”

Still, for the moment over 70 percent of states CIOs say a “cloud first” policy is in effect or in development in their states:

  • 17 percent say a formal policy has been implemented
  • 37 percent say they have an informal policy and handle it on a case-by-case basis
  • 17 percent say they are currently developing a policy

In terms of which categories of services are, or are being taken to, the cloud, state CIOs reported the following:
Done: E-mail and collaboration (32 percent); open data (26 percent); office productivity, such as word processing (21 percent); project and portfolio management (17 percent); and learning management systems (14 percent).

Ongoing: office productivity (43 percent); e-mail and collaboration (38 percent); program and business applications (38 percent); security services and monitoring (38 percent); storage (37 percent); enterprise resource planning (37 percent); and electronic records (36 percent).

Planned: disaster recovery (50 percent); storage (49 percent); digital archives (39 percent); HR, payroll, and time and attendance (37 percent); electronic records (34 percent); and identity management (32 percent).

As to the preferred cloud environments in which applications are housed, state CIOs reported the following: 51 percent in private clouds; 25 percent in public clouds; 15 percent in hybrid clouds; and 9 percent in community clouds.

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