One reason Google and other cloud computing services are popular is because they're free to the individual user. But if you're the city of Hartford, making the switch from local services to the cloud is an expensive affair.
The city just did a study, and the math is pretty simple. It will cost about $13 million over ten years to keep the city's emails, finances, and other technology services functioning. But moving them all to the cloud could cost anywhere between $16 million and $26 million over ten years.
So the answer to Hartford's IT question is simple: Just stick with what you've got.
Stephen Shipman is the city's acting chief information officer.
"If you look at the organizations that the cloud computing providers hold up as their poster children, they fall into two categories pretty much. They're either the very small entities or the really huge ones."
But Hartford is neither. Add to that the fact that it would cost a fortune to comply with the state's public information laws by archiving emails in the cloud, and Shipman says the clear choice is to stay the course.
"My conclusion was that continuing to do what we do is the most cost effective thing for the city."
So, for now at least, the cloud will wait.
For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.