Those who have been watching with interest the largest and highest-profile deployment of cloud-based email in a government organization will have welcomed recent news about difficulties that Google is encountering in the city of Los Angeles with mixed feelings. As reported here and here, the migration from Novell to Google Gmail was planned to be completed by the end of June, and only about one third of the 30,000 employees have migrated, with security concerns expressed by the LA Police Department.
It is early to draw conclusions, but it is quite evident that cloud-based solutions may not be ready for prime time. Those who are looking into moving soon should start looking into their total cost of ownership of as well as dissecting their security requirements against what both Google and Microsoft provide in terms of their own government clouds.
Last but not least – although I am not suggesting this is the case for Los Angeles – sometimes security worries are a shield for different concerns, such as the desire to retain control or the unwillingness to change functionality and user interface (see previous post).