So far, 36 out of 40 city departments have moved to Google Apps, with only the city's public-safety workers -- mainly the Los Angeles Police Department -- remaining to be migrated. Previously, Los Angeles used Novell's GroupWise suite for email and other productivity applications. In all, once the project is complete, more than 30,000 employees will be using Google's hosted apps for email, calendaring, documents, spreadsheets, instant messaging and video. The city also will use Google Sites, a website creation and sharing service.
CSC won the contract last November and is working alongside Google to complete the transition by the fall. The original contract had a three-year base period with two one-year options. L.A. is one of the first U.S. cities to embrace cloud computing to help lower IT costs and improve the efficiency of IT operations.
Randi Levin, CTO of the city of Los Angeles, has characterized the city's decision to switch to Google Apps as an effort to improve employee collaboration and remote access to applications, as well as to expand email storage at a lower total cost of ownership. She said she expects the city to save millions of dollars by shifting IT resources devoted to email to other areas. For instance, moving to Google Apps will free up nearly 100 servers the Groupwise email system was using, which will lower the city's electricity bills by nearly $750,000 over five years.
To complete the project, CSC is providing systems integration and architecture and design for the migration via its Trusted Cloud Services, a solution it offers to help move customers to the cloud. The firm also is responsible for integrating the city's identify-management system with Google Apps, as well as moving live and archived email data to the cloud. CSC also is training city administrators and some employees to use the new applications. Additionally, the company will maintain the system, providing ongoing account and service-level management.
The federal government also is eyeing the cloud for cost and efficiency gains, and on an agency basis is making some initial moves. Perhaps the boldest so far has been NASA's creation of Nebula, an open-source cloud computing infrastructure that the space agency is using internally. U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra hinted in a blog post recently that Nebula will eventually play a larger role not only in powering more NASA applications, but in supporting other government agencies as well.