Google Apps for Government is certainly taking off this year. Just last month Columbia, Missouri and the U.S. Department of the Interior adopted the system for their email and communications networks. Google claims that Google Apps is both cost effective and secure enough for any government agencies, but what are the governments that implement the software really looking for? Today Alfonso Noyola, the director of administrative services for the City of North Las Vegas, wrote a guest blog post for the Official Google Enterprise Blog detailing why the city went with Google. From the post:
Like many cities around the country, the City of North Las Vegas was hit hard by the recent economic downturn. With our resources slashed, we had to cut costs while maintaining service levels for our employees and residents. The challenge was daunting, but we were determined to find a solution. We decided to move all 1,300 North Las Vegas employees to Google Apps for Government because cloud applications are more affordable than server-based systems and meet our security needs.
Noyola states that after careful research of Google Apps, the city found it to be more secure and more reliable than the system North Las Vegas previously had in place. Google Apps’ 99.9% uptime guarantee, and the fact that it operates with no scheduled downtime, sold Noyola and the city on the system.
In terms of the price, Noyola claims the City of North Las Vegas will save an estimated $1.2 million over the next five years due to the switch. He claims the transition went smoothly, and that the city is getting many compliments from employees on the system.
Noyola is correct that cloud services are often easier and less expensive than physical server solutions. And while Google is almost certainly a company that can be trusted to protect government data, it will be interesting to see what problems the wide proliferation of cloud services on other, less secure providers brings in the coming years.