FY 2020-2022 Cloud Computing at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Published: November 02, 2022

Federal Market AnalysisUSDACloud ComputingInformation TechnologySpending Trends

Cloud spending at the USDA rises to a new high

The long process of compiling cloud spending for fiscal year 2022 has begun here at Deltek/GovWin. Data for the Department of Defense won’t be available for several months yet, but data is available for the civilian agencies. Today’s post provides a brief overview of FY 2022 cloud spending at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is one of the departments where the use of cloud technology has reached a mature level. Engineering projects are still underway across several of the USDA’s components, but for the most part all of the USDA’s components are using cloud capabilities to one extent or another.

Total Cloud Spending

Identifiable spending on cloud at the USDA rose to a new high of $367M in FY 2022, growing 84% compared to its spending in FY 2020.

As an early adopter, the USDA can serve as a type of bell weather agency for the route many federal civilian agencies are taking to the cloud. So, as more data is compiled I expect we’ll see spending at other agencies following a similar trajectory.

Spending by Deployment Model

In FY 2022, spending on community cloud remained dominant at the USDA. This comes as no surprise given the fact that this trend was already visible in the department’s spending two fiscal years ago.

In addition, many commercial service providers have moved to a community cloud model as a best practice.

A growing percentage of the USDA’s cloud spending is categorized as unknown because the efforts identified deal with cloud engineering of some type. The deployment model for some of these efforts can be difficult to pin down given the limited amount of descriptive data provided to the Federal Procurement Data System.

Spending on public cloud capabilities is also growing at the USDA, with the identifiable total more than doubling between FY 2020 and 2022. This growth makes sense because of the department’s use of Software-as-a-Service capabilities, which is by far the most used service delivery type at the USDA.

Cloud Spending by Market Category

Lastly, here is the data for the USDA’s spending by market category. Deltek/GovWin divides cloud market spending into five major buckets due to the varied nature of work being performed.

The cloud engineering category will be of interest to all vendors not directly providing an aaS-based capability. It encompasses work such as cloud-enabling legacy applications, migration services, basic engineering and technical support, and system/software development.

Parting Thoughts

The USDA set-up its own FedRAMP-certified cloud several years ago, which accounts for its low level of spending on cloud infrastructure. That said, the maturity of the department’s cloud environment is obvious in the spending data for community and public cloud capabilities. The USDA environment has evolved into a multi-cloud one with relatively low use of specifically “hybrid” cloud capabilities in favor of a combination of community and public capabilities in addition to those it provides components in-house. This internal spending does not show up clearly in the publicly available data.