Like many communities, Englewood, Colo., must look for non-traditional ways to meet the demands of a growing technology-savvy population. Maintaining services, using the latest technology, and staying within a declining budget are daily challenges. The city is looking for answers from vendors as well as working with school districts, special districts, and other city, county and state governments.
Eliminating the city’s data center has become a strategic goal to help meet those demands by moving more services to the cloud. The plan is to move applications to the cloud based on the best fit rather than to move the entire data center to the cloud. That way, the city can evaluate each move to ensure it is providing the most cost-effective and efficient method possible.
For example, Englewood is researching the prospect of moving its email to the cloud. With so many choices and different options, the search has been frustrating and confusing. So, to help assess all of the options, the city calculated the in-house cost of providing email service to city staff. Included in the calculation is the cost of hardware, software, maintenance, and staff time. The per month/per user cost is then calculated so it can be easily compared to quotes received from email providers. That financial information along with our scope of features has made the search more manageable.
Englewood also is discussing the possibilities of mitigating legal risks by reviewing provider contracts to ensure that they follow applicable regulations such as HIPPA guidelines, allow for e-discovery, and provide adequate security for the data. City leaders also are considering changes to city policies. For example, existing city policy may be altered to ensure that no Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS)-related data is transmitted via secure email. That would allow all city departments to use cloud email service while still complying with CJIS requirements.
Jeff Konishi is director of IT for Englewood, Colo.