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2012 IT budget would help agencies move to cloud-based services

Feb. 16, 2011 - 06:00AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
Public Health Service employees monitor data in Washington. Agencies plan to use one quarter of their requested $80 billion information technology budget in 2012 to move e-mail and other tools to the cloud.
Public Health Service employees monitor data in Washington. Agencies plan to use one quarter of their requested $80 billion information technology budget in 2012 to move e-mail and other tools to the cloud. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Agencies plan to use one quarter of their requested $80 billion information technology budget in 2012 to move e-mail and other tools to the cloud.

The move aligns with strategies released Friday by the White House for governmentwide adoption of cloud solutions, where services such as employment verification, identity management and data analytics will no longer be managed in-house on agency-owned hardware but rather provided on a pay-as-you-use basis by outside vendors.

And as hardware needs are reduced, agencies expect further savings in 2012 as they begin to work toward the goal of consolidating 40 percent of their 2,094 data centers by 2015. Other savings would come as agencies meet the goal of terminating one-third of their failing IT projects by June 2012.

The $80 billion budget would be a 2 percent increase over 2010 levels, but several agencies would see a double-digit drop in IT spending. The proposed budget would shrink the Office of Personnel Management's IT funding by 33 percent to $66 million. NASA's IT budget would drop 24 percent to $1.6 billion.

The Transportation and Agriculture departments, however, would see the greatest increases in IT funding.

Transportation is seeking $3.7 billion in 2012, a 21 percent increase from 2010 levels. Agriculture would see a 12 percent boost to $2.9 billion. The Defense, Health and Human Services, and Energy departments would all gain 6 percent in funding.

Agencies expect to reduce their IT spending on data center infrastructure by about 30 percent.

Potential spending on cloud computing includes more than $2.4 billion each at the Treasury and Homeland Security departments and between $2 billion and $2.2 billion at Defense.

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