IT Management

Survey: Budget poses the biggest threat to federal IT

tech manager

More government IT experts rate budget constraints as a greater threat to their organization's IT infrastructure than cyberattacks, mobile security or any other metric, according to a survey by Cisco and Clarus Research Group.

The survey polled 400 IT decision-makers at the local, state and federal levels, with 35 percent suggesting budget shortfalls were more detrimental to maintaining IT infrastructures than increased network demands or any other factor.

The budget weighed heavily in the survey – few department heads ever ask for less money -- a fact perhaps exacerbated by the timing: It was carried out in September as the government shutdown loomed. But Larry Payne, vice president of Cisco's U.S. federal market, said the study confirmed once again that cost rules the day in federal IT.

The top IT goals over the next year were:

  •  Reduce IT costs: 28 percent.
  •  Improve security: 22 percent.
  •  Boost efficiency: 19 percent.
  •  Improve service delivery: 19 percent
  •  Enhance mobility: 9 percent.

"What [feds] are dealing with is a great deal of complexity," Payne said.

For all the talk of shrinking IT budgets, 59 percent of those surveyed said they were likely to increase investment in cybersecurity in fiscal 2014. That tops those who planned to spend more on cloud computing (45 percent) and networking (42 percent).

Download

Get the report.

That cloud computing is playing second fiddle to cybersecurity in spending expectations among federal IT leaders is not surprising, Payne said, noting that their confidence in cloud reliability, security and cost-effectiveness was "lukewarm" at best. In cloud reliability, 63 percent reported "some confidence," 18 percent had "great confidence" and 13 percent had "no confidence."

Feds doubted the cost-effectiveness of cloud computing, with 54 percent stating they had "some confidence" it would save money. Twelve percent had no confidence it would.

Feds had the least confidence in the security of cloud computing. While the survey did not separate nuanced versions of the cloud – public, private or hybrid clouds – the findings revealed only 12 percent of government IT decision makers had great confidence in cloud security, 60 percent had "some confidence" and 22 percent expressed "no confidence."

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group