Information technology in general, and cloud computing specifically, may be relatively safer areas within widespread downward budgetary pressure, but cloud spending appears to have declined in 2014 with mixed signals for 2015.

According to Govini, "all signs point toward lower Defense Department cloud computing spending" in 2014, with fewer agencies issuing fewer contracts in the first three quarters of the fiscal year. The squeeze resulted in a $25 million decline in cloud spending from the previous year, which topped $180 million with more than 300 contracts in the first three quarters.

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The Navy in 2014 accounted for the largest piece of the defense cloud market pie, totaling nearly 80 percent of DoD cloud spending, according to Govini. The figures are a marked increase over 2013, when defense-wide agencies eclipsed the Navy by capturing roughly 35 percent of the market. In the previous three fiscal years, between 2010 and 2012, the Navy consistently spent more on cloud services than other defense organizations.

Expected 2014 declines likely will hit certain cloud service and product providers particularly hard, but major players may avoid the brunt of weakened spending by maintaining large shares of the defense cloud market.

Specifically, integrator Scientific Research may avoid the worst hits to the cloud integrator market because the company does most of its work with the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, providing command and control supply as part of the SeaPort-e contract, which covers the Navy's electronic platform for acquiring support services. Spending on that vehicle slowed in 2014 but could pick up in 2015, Govini data indicates.

Similarly, Carahsoft's cloud products benefitted significantly from Navy and Air Force spending in 2014, with an average two-year spend of more than $50 million. Those benefits should continue with the Navy's recapture of DoD's cloud-spending market.