CalCloud to streamline California

CalCloud to streamline California's IT

The California Department of Technology and IBM Corp. have teamed up to offer agencies across the state a suite of cloud-based IT services that they say will help cut costs and streamline the state’s sprawling IT infrastructure.

The CalCloud service will be available to municipalities and all state and local government agencies on a subscription basis, an offering the partners called, “the first of its kind to be implemented in the United States at the state government level.”

CalCloud will supply agencies access to a pool of configurable services via public, private and hybrid clouds, including compute, storage, network and disaster recovery services. More than 20 state departments have already requested IT services through CalCloud, according to the announcement.

IBM will supply and manage the infrastructure for CalCloud service, while AT&T will provide core and edge networks. IT consulting firms Alexan International, Inc. and KPMG have been contracted to “drive CalCloud’s adoption rate and migration to the new service.”

California’s Department of Technology said CalCloud is designed to provide state and local governments “next-generation tools that offer access to IT services at the rapid pace that customers demand while minimizing upfront capital investment and controlling financial risk.”

The project sponsors also pointed out the service would help address the perennial government problem of  IT stovepiping and system duplication.

Instead of separate IT systems for each department, “the CalCloud service model allows government entities to share a common pool of computing resources and operate much more efficiently than they do today,” IBM said.

Rapid access to back-end services will also free up the state to focus on projects with direct impact on the public.  CalCloud will also give state and local agencies the ability to pinpoint and acquire only the computing resources needed at any given time and as workloads demand.

“CalCloud is an important step towards providing faster and more cost effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California,” said Marybel Batjer, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency.  

“California is setting an example for other states on how to use cloud technology to improve coordination across agencies and municipalities while reducing the barriers and duplication that can impede the delivery of government services,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services.

The CalCloud technology lineup has been about a year in the making.

In June 2013, the state’s Office of Technology Services released an Invitation for Bid for to provide cloud networking services to state and local agencies through the state data center.

And earlier this year, California Department of Technology signed a letter of intent on a contract with AT&T and IBM to develop CalCloud in the state’s data center, with private, public and hybrid clouds.

The move to a more modern IT infrastructure has also been a key interest of California Lt.Gov. Gavin Newsom, who expressed his concerns late last year that the state was too slow in moving to the cloud.

 “We're not seeing the kind of change to make things move,” Newsom told Government Technology in December, adding that California was lagging behind Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New York in cloud adoption.

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