5 Ways Local Governments Can Benefit By Embracing The Cloud

April 8, 2016
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Many people look at the way their local government operates and think that they are still working like it is the stone age. They see governments working with massive amounts of paperwork. They look at the amount of time that it takes to get information or to get anything done that involves the local government. It leaves people to wonder if there is anything that can be done to improve the way the local government operates.

Overcoming the Politics

Many people look at the way their local government operates and think that they are still working like it is the stone age. They see governments working with massive amounts of paperwork. They look at the amount of time that it takes to get information or to get anything done that involves the local government. It leaves people to wonder if there is anything that can be done to improve the way the local government operates.

Overcoming the Politics

The politics of local governments may not always make it easy to change the way that things are done. It also can prevent a local government from operating like an efficient business. There may be obstacles to improving the way the local government operates, but that does not mean there are not any tools to make something happen. One of the best tools that local governments can turn to is the cloud. Cloud computing is being embraced by businesses big and small because of all of the benefits that it offers. It is time for local governments to see what businesses and the federal government are talking about. Here are 5 benefits that local governments can get from using the cloud.

  • Flexibility – one of the biggest problems with governments is their inability to change the way that things are done. There are many things that constrain the ability of the government to react to situations in the best way. The cloud can offer flexibility in the way that the local government handles many situations. The use of the cloud can be expanded or contracted easily. It can provide the local government with more storage if needed or the storage can be scaled down when it is not needed. The ability to do this can help lower the costs of operating the government. It means there is no extra expense wasted on unused storage and it means that if more is needed, it can be found. It is also capable of doing this on a timely basis. The cloud can be expanded or contracted as it is needed without delay.
  • Utilizing Current Technology – One of the reasons that governments seem to be operating like they did for decades is the costs that are associated with making changes. Changes often involve buying new and expensive equipment and that requires a lot of time and money to get done. With tight budgets, it does not make sense for local governments to make big changes in technology that may need to be changed again. Cloud computing offers a low cost way to take advantage of current technology. A cloud based phone system allows a local government to have the most modern forms of communication without investing in all of the hardware and infrastructure required of other types of phone systems. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection to utilize a cloud based phone system. It can be updated and kept modern without the added expense of replacing all of the hardware.
  • Streamlining the Government – The biggest complaint that people have with dealing with a government agency is the run-around. It is common for a person to contact one department for information, only to be told that they also need to check with this department. The cloud can change this. It can connect all of the departments and provide everyone that needs it, access to the information. Instead of running around to multiple departments and people to find out something or to get something done, the cloud makes it a one stop government shop. The cloud also does not require a group of people that need to maintain it and that need to make sure that all of the government is on the same page. If they are all connected to the cloud, it allows the government to work together rather than as separate departments.
  • Communication – Another common complaint about government is that no one seems to know what anyone else is doing. Cloud communications make it easier to share information. It allows for collaboration on projects. All of these things can be done without having to gather together large groups of people together to make a decision. Instead, cloud computing allows for multiple ways for everyone to work together, including teleconferencing, video conferencing, instant messaging, email and document sharing. This will increase the productivity of everyone involved in the local government.
  • Lowering the Cost of Government – Cutting budgets is a popular theme, but no one wants to lose the services that the local government offers and no one wants to pay more taxes. Cloud computing allows a local government to cut costs without giving anything up. In fact, the government can actually get more by spending less with cloud computing. From lower energy costs through energy efficiency to lower costs for storage of information to increased productivity of government employees to lower costs for communication equipment, cloud computing gives governments plenty of fiscal flexibility.

The Obstacles of Cloud Computing

The benefits of cloud computing for local governments is hard to deny, but it still seems to be happening. There are plenty of reasons for this, but the biggest problem is getting the politicians that are in control to see what cloud computing can do for them. The politicians will put up many obstacles that are not always easy to overcome.

  • Security – It is important that the people trust their government and when it comes to cloud computing, security is the best way to keep the people’s trust. Making sure that any use of the cloud is safe and secure requires a constant effort and always has to be monitored and updated.
  • Increased cost of IT – Building up the IT infrastructure of the local government is a cost that has to be dealt with.
  • Updating technology – For the cloud to work efficiently, the local government may have to invest in higher internet speed technologies and other computer technologies.

There will be a time when cloud computing is widely used in local governments, the only question is when. Because change in government is often slow and because politicians do not always do things for the right reasons. Many local governments will not adopt this technology. For the ones that do, a government in the modern world may work a lot better than one that is stuck in the stone ages.

How do you think local governments should approach cloud computing? Should they be slow and methodical or should they jump in with both feet? Please take the time to share your thoughts, idea and suggestions with us.