Early adopters of the cloud in federal government are showing benefits to the move, according to a new study by Meritalk. The study, titled Mission-Critical Cloud: Ready for the Heavy Lift?, hypothesized that the federal government could save $16.6 billion annually if all agencies moved three “mission-critical” applications to the cloud. About 73 percent of those polled cited security as the primary reason they had not yet made such a transition.

"Transitioning legacy, mission-critical applications to the cloud is not a forklift exercise – in

many cases it's more like an organ transplant," MeriTalk Founder Steve O'Keeffe said in a press release. "With the complexity and security concerns, it's not surprising many agencies want a private room."

Moving to a private cloud solution was identified by the study as a preferable solution for mission-critical applications because of privacy concerns, and 38 percent of those polled reported having made such a move. Eleven percent reported moving to a hybrid cloud solution, and 10 percent reported moving to a public cloud solution.

High costs associated with custom-built government solutions along with the high upkeep costs of maintaining outdated applications were another selling point illuminated by the study. “Private and hybrid clouds offer significant cost-saving benefits along with the necessary security infrastructure that have not yet been realized through public cloud models,” said Kyle Keller, cloud business director at EMC federal. “The benefits of moving mission-critical applications to the cloud can be realized while also maintaining confidence in the security of those resources.”

To read all the fluffy details, check out Mission-Critical Cloud: Ready for the Heavy Lift? on MeriTalk.com.