GPN reached out to Granicus’ Michael Ashford to get some insight into the cloud in local government. Ashford is vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at Denver-based Granicus. The firm offers cloud solutions to governments.

GPN: Are some local governments still reluctant to embrace the cloud?
Michael Ashford: We’re seeing far less resistance to implementing cloud-based technology at the local government level than we were just three or four years ago.

Local governments are seeing cloud technology’s ROI play out in real-time in terms of monetary savings – money that was being spent on obsolete needs and tools – and as a result, the reluctance is easing day-by-day.

GPN: What are some of the benefits for governments that put IT functions and tasks in the cloud?

MA: With cloud technology investments, IT staff, clerks and other municipal officials understand that they can invest in providing more services to their community while also realizing budget savings.

Many organizations realize that while they must make an initial investment up front, in short order, cloud-based technology makes overall operations more efficient – saving money. An effective cloud setup and installation allows organizations to remove some outdated, legacy processes.

GPN: What is important in the implementation process?

MA: The critical mistake many local governments make in implementing new technology – not just cloud-based technology – is adding new technology without a plan as to how it will solve a problem or improve a process. Too often, especially at the local government level, technology is implemented and then forced onto an internal process that, in many instances, was put in place before the Internet even existed. And so the technology and the process clash, and the benefits are never fully realized.

GPN: Do you have any advice for local government administrators as they consider cloud-based technology?

MA: Here are five questions local government officials should be asking when it comes to technology are:
·         Does it rely on my existing process, or improve it?
·         Will my workload increase, or decrease?
·         Will I have to do extra work to get my stakeholders (internal staff and/or citizens) to use it?
·         Does it solve a real problem, or create new ones?
·         Are the benefits real, or made up?

GPN: Thank you, Michael Ashford.

Granicus has 20,000+ government users that leverage the firm’s cloud-based platform.  The technology helps governments run their day-to-day government information tasks including webcasting public meetings, managing and delivering legislative information, collaborating with citizens, and more.

Granicus manages a sizable legislative content network. The cloud-based system contains more than 5 million government media files and public records and maintaining a 99.98 percent uptime track record.

In the video, a Granicus executive outlines the benefits that governments can realize by going to the cloud.

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