Google has launched a suite of apps for government, following several large public sector contracts, including one from the City of LA.
At the end of last year, the city council there voted unanimously to adopt Gmail for its 34,000 employees and claims that savings are already being made. British cities have also opened talks with Google, although opinion is divided (see Ross Grant’s Leicester blog, with which I agree).
The argument for the cloud model is compelling, even if more than half of us aren’t able to access the Internet as quickly as we’re paying for, because of the shared responsibility for the data, security and access. Servers fail, desktops get old, Exchange Server is dreadful – and many companies are turning their back on the traditional hardware option.
This means easier remote access (3G included), easier collaboration and potentially huge cost savings.
And Google has overcome the single biggest hurdle in using cloud computing for government – security. The suite has become the first to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and Government emails and calendars will be stored in exclusive data centres.
And now they’ve persuaded LA to film them a testimonial (below). In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before a forward-thinking political leader like Grant will encourage a British council to take Google Apps for Government on.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa9fg8tLlIs]