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AWS’ Steve Halliwell: State, Local Agencies Eye Cloud Tools for Collaboration

cloudState and local government agencies are turning to cloud computing technologies with the goal of achieving faster application deployments and agility for IT projects, Government Technology reported Wednesday.

David Raths reports that the sector has seen many cloud initiatives for operations and public services, as well as sophisticated projects that aim to leverage available tools in a cloud setup.

“When I first started engaging with customers, they were looking at some first-adopter things such as websites and storage,” said Steve Halliwell, senior global director of state and local government and education at Amazon Web Services.

“Now we’re seeing more customers doing big data analytics, high-performance computing, collaborative applications, government-to-business portals and statewide archiving, as well as disaster recovery and GIS applications in emergency response.”

The report listed Delaware, Michigan, Illinois, San Francisco and Florida’s Alachua County as among the municipalities that want to adopt cloud computing as they try to cut back on staffing and IT costs or keep up with emerging needs.

“Now we’re seeing repositioning around the notion of the hybrid cloud, where an organization could put some business processes, such as customer relationship management, into [cloud],” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“This allows CIOs to support departments with services from Amazon or Google but still keep critical IT assets behind locked doors.”

State and local government officials also point to software-as-a-service, shared services between states and jurisdictions and interoperability between hybrid cloud and on-premises environments as reasons for moving to cloud, according to the report.

Raths reports that the cloud also supports open data initiatives as governments aim to ease public access to information.

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