Cloud computing saving the US government money

The US government has been reaping the benefits of making changes to its IT systems and services.

A programme introduced by the federal government in 2010 to reduce IT spending has seen an increase in the use of cloud computing, the consolidation of data centres, and a number of other changes. A report issued by a government’s watchdog agency has revealed that savings of around $3.6bn (£2.3bn) have been made as a result. The US government’s current budget for IT spending is around $80bn per year.

The savings are a combination of direct reductions and avoiding new costs. The report on the savings was issued by the Government Accountability Office.

The government managed to save some of this money using what it calls a ‘cut and reinvest’ strategy, whereby different agencies have been tasked with cutting their IT expenditure by 10% and then putting those savings into new projects that will allow for even greater savings. 26 different government agencies took part.

Savings through cloud computing and other measures were greatest in some of the largest government departments, including the Department of Defence, Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. Around half of the savings made came from data centre consolidation, with a reduction in hardware requirements. Some data centres were closed, there was a consolidation of licensing agreements, and there was increased used of web-based management platforms.

The report also suggested that some departments may be underestimating their savings.