July 17, 2009 By News Report
Los Angeles is considering a plan to replace its e-mail and records retention systems with hosted products from Google, according to a story The Los Angeles Times published Friday.
The proposal reportedly has the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, but L.A. Police Department officials have expressed concern that turning over potentially sensitive data to a private company could be a security issue.
Many experts on the topic of cloud computing -- typically defined as Web-based servers and storage -- cite security fears as a major roadblock to the widespread adoption of the emerging technology. Some observers say cloud computing saves money and speeds up implementations.
L.A.'s proposed contract with Google is for five years and more than $7 million, the newspaper reports. It would need approval from a City Council subcommittee and the mayor.
L.A. certainly wouldn't be the first big municipal government to switch over to Google Apps. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra deployed the hosted solution, which includes e-mail, for Washington, D.C.'s IT department when he was the district's chief technology officer.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.