Sixteen major federal departments and agencies report that over 2016-2019 they increased spending on cloud-based services by $1 billion, resulting in savings of $291 million compared with the alternatives, but they have “issues in tracking and reporting cloud spending and savings data, including not having consistent processes in place to do so,” GAO has said.
It said that in that time, GSA and SSA reported the largest increase in IT investments that involved cloud services, both up 21 percentage points to 38 and 35 percent, respectively, the highest among the selected agencies. They were followed by Agriculture and Commerce, up 14 and 13 percentage points to 27 and 24 percent.
“Officials from 15 of the 16 agencies reported that they had identified significant benefits from acquiring cloud services, including improved customer service and the acquisition of more cost-effective options for managing IT services,” GAO said. They cited the value of cloud investments including ones that enhanced the availability of weather-related information; facilitated collaboration and information sharing among federal, state, and local agencies related to homeland security; and provided benefits information to veterans.
However, they noted that OMB does not explicitly require reporting on savings from cloud implementation and as a result, “is likely that agency-reported cloud spending and savings figures were underreported,” GAO said. Also, only 10 of the 16 had established guidance to assess their investments for cloud services under OMB requirements and 12 of them had not completed an assessment of 10 or more cloud investments.