MeriTalk has announced the results of its new report, “Innovation Imperative: The Drive to Modernize DoD.” The study, underwritten by Amazon Web Services and Red Hat, surveyed 150 Department of Defense (DoD) IT decision makers to understand the state of their IT infrastructure and applications.

The study confirmed that legacy IT is jeopardizing our national security. Almost all (96%) of DoD managers say their organization’s current technology solutions are in need of IT modernization, with the majority saying at least half of their systems are outdated. Another 86% say the failure to modernize legacy DoD systems is putting the security of our nation in jeopardy, and 83% say they are concerned about the potential of falling behind adversaries like China and Russia in their use of innovative technology.

Along those lines, the study revealed DoD decision makers see the cloud as mission-critical. Eighty percent say their agency needs to improve the use of cloud to maintain the military’s technical advantage and support their mission success. Those ahead of the cloud curve — the self-described cloud innovators and early adopters — are more than four times as likely as cloud laggards to say they are very satisfied with their organization’s current technology solutions and their ability to quickly and securely enable their defense and or national security missions (53% to 11%).

   Despite initial progress, the study shows the DoD still has a long way to go on its journey to cloud. The average DoD manager recommends moving more than 50% of their current on-premise data to the cloud. And, with successful cloud adoption, DoD sees cloud serving as a vital foundation for next-generation technologies, including:

  • Big data analytics (85%)
  • Electronic warfare (83%)
  • Shared services (82%)

As the study suggests, cloud is not the final destination — but it sets the foundation for necessary innovation, collaboration, and next-generation technologies like big data analytics, shared services, artificial intelligence, and electronic warfare. Agencies must continue to keep their eyes on the road ahead and consider cloud in terms of broader IT modernization efforts government-wide. To download the full report, please visit