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North Carolina Weighs Cloud Computing Capabilities

IT professionals working for state and local governments are beginning to realize that maintaining an on-premise database may not be the most affordable option. These legacy systems are still relatively operable, but cloud infrastructure has rendered them obsolete in terms of efficiency, scalability and data processing. Sharing information with constituents, businesses and other legislative entities is one of the chief functions of a public organization, but they're finding that it's becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

Comparing reports and data with federal agencies has become a routine practice, especially since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Police departments often work in conjunction with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, requiring a transparent view of all data that could possibly be used to solve a case. Smaller government bodies using cloud applications have found it easier to correlate their own information with that of the FBI or other law enforcement entities such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Most importantly, the efficiency and cost savings associated with the technology are too apparent to disregard. According to Government Computer News, an online magazine covering public sector IT developments, International Data Corporation released a study reporting that government bodies spend nearly 75 percent of their IT budgets on operating and maintaining legacy systems to maintain pace with cloud computing or other advanced systems. The long-term costs associated with this process surpasses the expanse of the typical investment required to implement a cloud environment.

Providing A Scalable Storage System

In a separate article, Government Computer News contributor Rutrell Yasin noted that North Carolina is searching for ways in which the state government could use cloud applications to attain property data from disconnected systems and transfer them into standard data sets. Yasin wrote that officials are hoping to use the technology for a number of purposes, such as taxation, emergency response management and environmental protection. The six-month project is funded in part by the Environmental Protection Agency, which hopes to be able to correlate its own information with that of N.C. officials.

The software provides authorities precise geographic information and coordinates of a specific piece of property, boundaries and topography included. In the event that an ownership dispute arises, the problem could quickly be resolved by consulting the system. In addition, safety inspectors could notify the National Guard after using the system to determine whether or not populated areas are in the path of a hurricane.

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