Government Technology

Minnesota Municipalities Offer a Prototype for Sharing Applications

December 29, 2010 By

With municipal budgets flat indefinitely and demand for services growing, the solution may be a combination of two things that have frequently seemed undoable to veterans of local government: hosting applications offsite and sharing them with multiple local governments. Accepting those approaches can be legitimately scary for local governments, said Mike Garris, executive director of the Local Government Information Systems Association (LOGIS), a consortium of local governments in Minnesota.

“They have political constraints,” Garris said. “All of these cities have citizens and their county boards of commissioners or their city councils to address, and they want to do a good job in their communities.”

LOGIS is an offsite hosting organization that has enabled a continually growing number of municipalities to share applications since 1972. In the early days, the organization delivered applications through T1 phone lines. Now it uses fiber optics and the Internet. LOGIS membership provides software applications for payroll, GIS, property assessments and numerous other functions, without requiring on-site staff and server hardware. Members have access to top-tier software at lower prices than most governments could normally negotiate.

“We get in some very large players — Motorola, JD Edwards and that kind of thing,” Garris said.

A recent study commissioned by the group found that even small cities are saving at least $60,000 annually. Larger cities can save more than $140,000 per year, he said. The difficulty for cities and counties when they first join is that they must sync their application replacement cycles with LOGIS’ replacement cycles.

“For the benefit of the cost savings, you have to move with a consortium in terms of decisions and policies. That’s just not a cultural fit at some cities,” Garris said. “They want to have their own facilities, run their own show and have their own governance.”

However, budget crunches are changing those attitudes, rapidly, according to Garris. “It’s interesting,” he said. “We’re seeing entities that are joining the LOGIS that would have never done so in the past.”

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
McAfee Enterprise Security Manager and Threat Intelligence Exchange
As a part of the Intel® Security product offering, McAfee® Enterprise Security Manager and McAfee Threat Intelligence Exchange work together to provide organizations with exactly what they need to fight advanced threats. You get the situational awareness, actionable intelligence, and instantaneous speed to immediately identify, respond to, and proactively neutralize threats in just milliseconds.
Better security. Better government.
Powering security at all levels of government with simpler, more connected IT.
Cybersecurity in an "All-IP World" Are You Prepared?
In a recent survey conducted by Public CIO, over 125 respondents shared how they protect their environments from cyber threats and the challenges they see in an all-IP world. Read how your cybersecurity strategies and attitudes compare with your peers.
View All

Featured Papers