Critical Read

Survey says platform-as-a-service can save $20.5 billion in IT

image of man and programming code

What:MeriTalk report titled “PaaS or Play? Cloud’s Next Move,” underwritten by Red Hat Inc.

Why: The government spends more than $80 billion on IT every year, but close to three-quarters of it is spent maintaining outdated legacy systems.  

The MeriTalk study, released Nov. 20, surveyed 153 federal IT professionals – 75 percent from civilian agencies and 25 percent from defense and intelligence agencies – and found feds believe platform-as-a-service has the potential to cut federal IT costs by $20.5 billion annually by speeding up software development.

The study suggests that current software development processes are slow and expensive, with software application development cycles average 3.5 years. Feds believe platform-as-a-service offerings can reduce that lag time by 31 percent, resulting in hugely more efficient development at cheaper costs.


  • 92 percent of feds say PaaS offers vital support for cloud computing
  • 90 percent say it offers support for data center consolidation
  • 92 percent of feds say PaaS offers vital support for cloud computing
  • 79 percent of feds believe using PaaS will help their agency take advantage of shared services
  • 77 percent say new application development is vital to their agency’s ability to meet mission objectives
  • 73 percent of feds believe using PaaS will help their agency take advantage of Big Data
  • 69 percent of feds believe using PaaS will help them take advantage of mobile  computing
  • 42 percent of feds believe a PaaS transition will improve security
  • 50 percent of feds feel they are missing out because they are “locked in” to current technology contracts
  • Feds estimate 41 percent of their agency’s software applications need refreshment or replacement


About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.


  • Shutterstock image (by wk1003mike): cloud system fracture.

    Does the IRS have a cloud strategy?

    Congress and watchdog agencies have dinged the IRS for lacking an enterprise cloud strategy seven years after it became the official policy of the U.S. government.

  • Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

    Who won what in EIS

    The General Services Administration posted detailed data on how the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract might be divvied up.

  • Wikimedia Image: U.S. Cyber Command logo.

    Trump elevates CyberCom to combatant command status

    The White House announced a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.

  • Photo credit: John Roman Images /

    Verizon plans FirstNet rival

    Verizon says it will carve a dedicated network out of its extensive national 4G LTE network for first responders, in competition with FirstNet.

  • AI concept art

    Can AI tools replace feds?

    The Heritage Foundation is recommending that hundreds of thousands of federal jobs be replaced by automation as part of a larger government reorganization strategy.

  • DOD Common Access Cards

    DOD pushes toward CAC replacement

    Defense officials hope the Common Access Card's days are numbered as they continue to test new identity management solutions.

Reader comments

Thu, Nov 21, 2013 Cowboy Joe

Well, I guess it depends on how you define "IT" ... inclusive or exclusive of those things they call "National Security Systems". PaaS may make a lot of sense for routine admin systems, maybe even for some development environments, but as soon as y' start talkin' warheads on foreheads PaaS might sink into a few sticky mudholes with regard to profiteering and mercenary warfare.

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