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US government spending on cloud technology is set for a huge boost in the coming years, with adoption particularly set to accelerate after 2014. And it is private clouds and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) that are set to be the big winners within this sector.

This is according to a new report from IDC Government Insights, which found overall spending on cloud technology is set to reach $2.3 billion this year, before rocketing to over $9 billion by 2017. The majority of investment this year will be in private solutions, which are set to account for $1.7 billion, compared with just $118 million for public offerings.

IDC noted that one of the main reasons for this is that these solutions offer much stronger promises for security, control and privacy. Researchers at the firm stated: “In some cases we have seen new applications developed on a public cloud, which are later moved to a private dedicated cloud for their runtime environment.”

It added the Social Security Administration (SSA) is set to lead the way in the deployment of private clouds. This is likely dueto its need to efficiently process large amounts of highly-confidential data without compromising on security. However, it will not use private solutions exclusively, as IDC said: “One key public cloud solution for SSA is called the Citizen Access Routing Enterprise (CARE) system, which focuses on call center activities.”

Although interest in Software-as-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service solutions are also growing, the main focus for many agencies is in IaaS – in contrast to many private sector industries where demand for SaaS is the main driver. IDC calculated that government IaaS spending is set to grow from $1 billion last year to $5.4 billion by 2017.

Commenting on the figures, ZDNet contributor Zack Whittaker noted: “This is particularly interesting because it includes all the networking jazz that you would expect from in-house services and data centers. Systems management, networking equipment, firewalls, load balancers.” When these are combined with solutions such as virtualization and file-based storage, this will be what IDC describes as a logical progression for government agencies.

Although the current federal sequestration measures will depress spending on government IT in the short-term, IDC expects this stagnation to end by mid-2014, clearing the way for a boom in federal cloud spending the following year.