May 16, 2012

Saving Money with New Technologies

ONE OF ways that San Mateo County could save money is through using the cloud, online apps and collaboration tools provided by Microsoft and/or Google.

Historically, government would purchase licenses for an individual applications like Mircosoft Office for every worker. If there were 5,000 employees in an organization, that meant that 5,000 licenses would be purchased.

This is an expensive proposition and leads to some parts of the organization using one version of software (those with money would have the latest version) while others, who lack funding for replacement software, would be straddled with older versions of the software.

And as we know, at some point there are "compatibility" issues.

A Community College District in Los Angeles is using a different approach to its software needs.

There, Mircosoft just inked a deal with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) to deploy its Live@edu online suite for more than 250,000 students and faculty. Live@edu gives educational users access to hosted versions of Exchange and Outlook, SkyDirve online storage and the Office Web productivity suite which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

One of the requirements of the deal was that Live@edu be accessible through multiple platforms including Apple iPads, iPhones and Google Android devices.

This approach is the future.

San Mateo County should explore this kind of technology option. In my experience organizations have issues supporting different versions of software plus every several years they have the painful experience of paying for replacement costs. Using an online approach would make modern software available organization wide and perhaps reduce the need for help desk support and might even reduce costs.

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