Not unlike their counterparts in the business world, state and local governments are faced with shrinking budgets and must find ways to do more with less. Meanwhile, their constituents want more consumer-friendly services, greater efficiency and increased transparency. The pressure is on for these government entities to be more agile, increase productivity and optimize their limited resources ─ including their IT assets.
Unfortunately, many are dealing with older IT infrastructure and legacy programs that are expensive to maintain and difficult to upgrade or change. To overcome these challenges, an increasing number of them are looking to the cloud.
Forward Motion to the Cloud
Some local governments have already taken their first steps into cloud computing. The city of Portland, Oregon uses the cloud to access various Microsoft Office applications. In California, Palo Alto uses the cloud for recruitment, collaboration and other functions, while San Jose is using it for office applications, document management and collaboration and storage and backup.
States are making their move too. In 2010, Georgia began moving state agencies to a private government cloud to share technologies. In 2012, Gov. Pat Quinn ordered Illinois state agencies to consider cloud services first when purchasing new technology. North Carolina, Michigan and Colorado all have comprehensive cloud strategies in place.
In fact, research presented at the NASCIO 2013 Annual Conference, which brings together IT professionals from state governments throughout the U.S., reported that 46% of the state and local government IT business leaders surveyed said they were planning or were currently engaged in cloud endeavors ─ largely because of potential cost savings for hardware and software capital and maintenance. If these entities are able to reap savings similar to the federal government, it could be significant. According to the Citizens Against Government Waste, “increased usage of cloud computing services by the federal government is a positive initiative that should continue to save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Bringing Down Barriers to the Cloud
So what’s holding back those government entities that aren’t making the move to the cloud or who are only taking baby steps? Numerous reports suggest it is largely due to concerns of security and concerns about regulatory compliance. Fortunately, Peak 10 has that covered.
Long a leader in security and compliance, Peak 10 goes above and beyond to ensure its cloud services meet the stringent requirements of many regulatory agencies and legislative acts. Doing so requires adherence to industry-specific standards, incorporating rigorous security controls and undergoing annual audits by independent assessors. The Peak 10 cloud is both PCI and HIPAA compliant, and Peak 10 holds Cisco® Cloud Provider Certification with a Cisco Powered Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) designation.
A strategically located network of enterprise-class, geo-redundant data centers, alliances with leading technology partners and the use of best-in-breed technologies further strengthen the integrity of Peak 10 cloud services.
In addition, customers using Peak 10 cloud services can take advantage of rightsizing recommendations and monitor their resource usage against an established quota and make adjustments to optimize or adjust resource allocation as needed ─ ensuring optimal use of their IT resources and budget.
Cloud-driven Efficiency and Savings
Peak 10 offers state and local governments the cloud services they seek to achieve efficiency and savings ─ and to meet more specific needs. For example, the Peak 10 Recovery Cloud provides a cost-effective, secure means to minimize downtime and potential data loss due to manmade and natural disasters, and to help government employees continue working.
Peak 10’s Cloud-delivered Desktops facilitate government worker mobility by providing secure access to applications and data from any device, from anywhere and at any time – with the same access, security and productivity as from a traditional office environment. Peak 10’s cloud messaging services makes email and other collaboration tools available to government employees no matter where they are as well, and offer a level of security and compliance not found in other hosted Exchange services. (Watch peak10.com for more information.)
Perhaps the greatest benefit Peak 10 offers state and local government customers is its ability to tailor solutions to meet their specific needs. There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all at Peak 10. For entities subject to varying compliance requirements, serving unique constituencies and dealing with equally unique issues, Peak 10 might just offer the perfect fit.