Accession Number:



CLOUD COMPUTING: Agencies Have Increased Usage and Realized Benefits, but Cost and Savings Data Need to Be Better Tracked

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Cloud computing enables on-demand access to shared computing resources providing services more quickly and at a lower cost than having agencies maintain these resources themselves. In 2012, OMB began requiring agencies to assess all IT investments for cloud services. GAO was asked to review agencies reported use of cloud services. This report discusses selected agencies progress in implementing cloud services, the extent to which those agencies increased cloud service spending and achieved savings or cost avoidances, and examples of agency-reported cloud investments with notable benefits. GAO selected 16 agencies to review based on their fiscal year 2017 IT budgets and analyzed their use of cloud services, associated spending and savings data, and guidance for assessing investments for these services. GAO interviewed agency officials in charge of cloud services and reviewed pertinent documents to identify acquisitions with notable benefits. GAO also interviewed OMB staff about their agencys role in federal cloud computing and related OMB guidance. GAO is making one recommendation to OMB on cloud savings reporting, and 34 recommendations to the 16 agencies on cloud assessments and savings. Fourteen agencies agreed with all recommendations, OMB and one agency neither agreed nor disagreed, and one Defense agreed with one recommendation but not the other. GAO continues to believe its recommendation to the department is appropriate.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems
  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Administration and Management

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]