Improving City Life with Cloud Applications

Businesses throughout the United States continue to use cloud computing as a way to improve in-house operations and enhance consumer interaction. Despite initial apprehension from professionals new to the technology, the majority of cloud deployments have been successful, yielding significant return on investments.

Government Possesses a Cautious Nature

On the other hand, public authorities remain somewhat hesitant to invest in cloud infrastructure due to limited financial resources. Taking a page from federal entities, state legislators are introducing spending cuts for the immediate future. According to Public Technology, a report released by polling firm iGov Survey showed that 60 percent of local officials claimed that a lack of funding is preventing them from adopting new IT services.

However, the study noted that respondents who have invested in cloud applications were measurably satisfied with their solutions. Approximately 57 percent of technology officers witnessed reduced hardware costs, while 55 percent favored the scalability of the environments. David McAughtrie, digital content manager at a major software provider, claimed that a large contingency of city councils are utilizing basic cloud solutions, but that widespread usage among these authorities remained tame.

"When viewed alongside the steps taken to deploy cloud and shared services technologies, public sector managers appear to be actively guarding against future, as yet unannounced, funding cuts," said McAughtrie, as quoted by the source.

Boston Witnessing Success

In an effort to connect with its constituents, the city of Boston has made extensive use of cloud computing technologies, especially on the mobile front. Public information regarding transportation services, properties, municipalities and law enforcement is becoming easier for residents of the New England metropolis to obtain.

Beta Boston contributor Matt Blackbourn reported that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority recently allowed denizens and commuters to view bus, rail and subway information on their smartphones. He noted that the MBTA's initiative is just one example of how the city is using technology to access data held in cloud environments to empower its citizens.

Blackbourn also mentioned the significance of a government take on cloud CRM, lauding it as a method for city officials to gather information reported by constituents and find ways to deliver better services. The result is a shift in metropolitan culture as more residents are equipped with an avenue through which they can express needs in a statistical, algorithmic manner.

In addition, mapping tools enable legislators to collect detailed information regarding property value, neighborhood crime reports and power usage. This kind of data provides assistance to law enforcement and public utilities committed to ensuring the wellbeing of Bostonians.

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