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.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.