the city of Los Angeles is weighing a plan to replace its e-mail and records retention software with a service provided by Google, a move that could allow the Internet giant to retain sensitive records transmitted by the police and other municipal agencies
While this is clearly still in the making, as it needs to be approved by the City Council, it is one of the first times that public cloud services are being considered for a government-wide solution to e-mail. As the article indicates, reservations come from the Police Department, which of course deals with quite sensitive records and information.
Should the deal be approved by the Council, this may turn to be a milestone for local governments across the US and beyond, which are struggling with declining fiscal revenue and subsequently shrinking budgets. E-discovery, reliability, security are typical concerns voiced by government clients who feel that private rather than public cloud services are more appropriate to run sensitive workloads (see Gartner research note, subscription required).
Whether Google and other providers of cloud-based solutions can credibly overcome those worries will determine where the balance will tilt between private and public cloud services.