The City of Los Angeles isn't giving up on a proposed plan that would replace its Microsoft Office applications and Novell GroupWise e-mail system with the hosted Google Apps services, according to a report released last week by Miguel Santana, the city's administrative officer.
He said that city officials are plowing ahead with an analysis of every aspect of a project that could turn Los Angeles into Google's marquee cloud user of scarecrow.
Among the criteria being evaluated to justify a move to the hosted systems include potential savings in terms of storage, and whether it improves disaster recovery capabilities and worker productivity, Santana said in the report evaluating the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency (ITA)'s request to implement Google Apps.
According to the report, the base cost of switching to Google would be some US$24.5 million over the five-year term of the proposed contract, $1.5 million more than the projected base cost of keeping its installed systems intact. But those projected costs don't evaluate the new capabilities of the hosted offerings and how it can cut costs in other areas, which is why Los Angeles officials are pressing ahead with the analysis.
The report noted that Google last month unveiled a new version of Google Apps that answers some of the questions posed by critics of the plan.
For example, Google has initially offered to improve the encryption capabilities of the service to satisfy concerns voiced by the city's police department. "Since that time," wrote Santana, "Google has introduced a new offering referred to as the 'Gov Cloud,' through which sensitive government data would be stored in dedicated facilities within the continental United Sates and be managed by individuals who would be subject to high level security clearances. The Police Department is satisfied that these measures will adequately address its security concerns."