Google Survey: Voters Want Government To Embrace Cloud Computing


"We were curious to find out what people across the country think about their local government's adoption of new technologies…," wrote Dan Israel, public sector marketing manager for Google Enterprise, in a recent blog post. That curiosity prompted Google to turn to Washington DC-based Clarus Research Group to poll 1,000 U.S. voters on their opinion on government technology issues.

The Google and Clarus Research Group survey revealed that 92 percent of U.S. voters feel "public agencies should make better use of new technologies to cut government spending and improve efficiency." This push, Israel wrote, comes as some state and local government agencies embrace cloud computing with Google Apps deployments, like the cities of Orlando and Los Angeles and state agencies in Kansas and New Mexico.

"That's certainly how we feel here at Google, and we're glad that a clear majority of polled voters also appreciate the need to invest in 21st century technology in the public sector," Israel wrote.

The poll also found that 78 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate for local or state office with specific ideas to cut government overhead and improve government employee productivity. Additionally, 70 percent of voters believe it is a good idea to use "the compute power and expertise of private companies to improve information technology departments in government agencies, and 75 percent believe government employees would be more productive with "quicker and more efficient email systems."

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According to Google, the City of Los Angeles has contracted out the hosting and management of its e-mail to Google and has improved services and saved more than $1 million a year as a result. Of the 1,000 voters polled by Clarus Research Group, 72 percent said they'd want their state and local governments to consider similar systems. Meanwhile, 66 percent of voters said they believe state and local governments should solve their own budget problems, while only 22 percent support greater federal aid for state and local governments to solve their budget problems.

The Google and Clarus Research Group survey comes as cloud computing takes center stage among local, state and federal governments lately as they look to embrace new technologies and weigh the pros and cons of cloud computing.

Last week, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra called for cloud computing standards, saying in order for the feds to fully embrace the cloud more stringent standards and policies are required. Meanwhile, the federal government has put several programs in place to fuel the move to the cloud as part of the Obama administration's push to embrace emerging and cloud technologies and projects like the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) cloud, the U.S. General Services Administration's storefront for federally-approved cloud applications and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Pilot program (FedRAMP), which aims to aggregate cloud computing standards and ease agency certification processes.

Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted recently at FOSE by IT management vendor ScienceLogic found that one in three federal IT professionals have cloud computing initiatives planned for sometime this year, a huge increase over the 12 percent that were looking to the cloud last year.