Switching to Cloud Computing Could Save Iowa Over $1 Million

Adopting cloud computing services could save the state government of Iowa more than $1 million a year, based on data from other states who have made similar switches.

“By moving to the cloud, the state can avoid those future costs and we expect significant gains in productivity, efficiency and a better use of state systems overall,” said Iowa’s chief technology officer, Matt Behrens.

In 2011, Wyoming became the first state in the entire country to migrate its email to Google Apps for Government, a cloud-based system. According to Flint Waters, Wyoming’s chief information officer, the move saved the state over $1 million a year. The Cowboy State also replaced its video conferencing system with Google Hangouts, allowing the state to slash its budget by about $500,000.

Colorado moved to the cloud about a year later, and saved $2.4 million last year for its efforts, according to Tauna Lockhart, the chief communications officer for Colorado’s information technology office.

Such data should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever been involved with the cloud before. Cloud computing and hosting solutions have helped companies become more efficient for years.

A recent study by IBM revealed that cloud computing offers better insights, makes collaboration easier, and allows for the rapid development of products and services. About 59% of companies that switched to the cloud were able to share data seamlessly across platforms; some 58% were able to collaborate across the organization and ecosystem; approximately 52% used cloud computing technologies to improve their products and services; and about 24% were able to offer additional products and services thanks to cloud computing.

Most importantly, though, the study found that it saved companies money. An estimated 25% of companies were able to downsize their IT departments, and about 55% of companies became more efficient by using the cloud.

If the cloud can do such wonders in the private sector, it only makes sense for government agencies to follow Iowa, Wyoming, and Colorado’s lead, and adopt the cloud.

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