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Kundra's plan: Good. Practicality: Not so much

In the wake of former federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s exit for the private sector, many have pondered his legacy and what the future holds for his 25-point IT reform plan. Now, a new survey suggests that while federal IT professionals may agree with Kundra’s key priorities, many worry about the hurdles that surround cloud computing, data center consolidation and cybersecurity.

MeriTalk polled 174 federal IT professionals Aug. 23, 2011 to learn what they think of the current state of federal IT. The report,  “Over to You, Mr. VanRoekel ...  A Federal IT Referendum on Change,” reveals that many feds express concern about  timing, funding and directives for cloud, data center consolidation and cybersecurity.

Only 29 percent of respondents said they are following Kundra’s cloud-first policy, and 42 percent said they have adopted a “wait-and-see” approach to the cloud. Security issues, cultural issues and budget constraints are some of the obstacles to cloud computing, respondents said.

Nearly all of surveyed feds also support data center consolidation, although 70 percent say federal agencies won’t be able to shutter the mandated 800 data centers by 2015. Some respondents were uncertain as to whether any data centers at all will be eliminated, with 10 percent saying there will actually be more of them in 2015.

Regarding cybersecurity, all of the respondents said web threats have increased over the last year. Respondents said the most important priorities for cybersecurity should be securing federal networks (68 percent), critical infrastructure protection (56 percent), and privacy protection (36 percent). However, funding to meet these priorities is, on average, 41 percent short, respondents said.

Asked about the most important focus areas for the new federal CIO, Steven VanRoekel, 60 percent of respondents chose reducing the number of mandates and deconflict as the No. 1 priority. Fifty-three percent said VanRoekel should reassess goals to make success achievable, and 46 percent said he should listen to feedback from IT professionals.

Respondents also said VanRoekel should have “realistic goals, no fancy technology terms, be business focused” and “continue to push IT beyond its comfort zone, focus on outcomes.”

There's more coverage of the report at Washington Technology.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Sep 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM


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