Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Working Toward CloudPlan 2.0

It's been two years now since we created Utah's first cloud computing strategy so we are now working on version #2. Several factors come into play as we create the new plan.

  • Mobile technologies have improved substantially in just the past two years and many of our agency customers now use mobile devices for a growing variety of purposes.  The need for cloud-based mobile productivity tools is greater than ever before.
  • Collaboration has exploded.  In 2009, we had just introduced connect.utah.gov as a way to aggregate our social media content which consisted primarily of about 100 Twitter feeds, a few Facebook pages, and a number of blogs. The amount of dynamic content has exploded in two years and is continuing on a regular upward trend. Now, instead of just aggregating the content, we integrate it throughout Utah.gov.  Cloud-based collaboration and social media tools have become an integral part of many employees daily regimen.
  • We completed the consolidation of our data centers and implemented virtualization on a broad scale.  Servers and platforms are now provisioned in close to real time.  Expectations are elevated.  Long software development cycles are generally unacceptable.
We recently completed an RFP for hosted email with associated productivity tools.  Once a contract is in place, the state will begin a process of converting to GMail accompanied with an enterprise implementation of Google Apps.  These productivity tools will bring new opportunities for greater team-building, collaboration, knowledge-sharing, etc., hopefully in ways that will greatly enhance our abilities to deliver world-class digital government services.

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