Los Angeles city council OKs move to Google apps

Los Angeles city workers will be moving their email and calendars into Google’s cloud environment after all. The city council voted to approve their CTO’s plan to switch 30,000 workers from Microsoft Outlook to Google Apps.

The plan was challenged by a consumer watchdog who questioned whether cloud computing was reliable and secure, citing the case where a hacker stole files stored by a Twitter manager at Google Docs.

The politicians clearly enjoyed the attention surrounding their votes on the $7.2 million contract. “The titans are fighting, and they all want our attention,” Councilman Tony Cardenas told an AP reporter.

LA Councilman Bill Rosendahl thought the attention helped convince him to vote in favor of Google. The higher profile brought surrounding the contract would encourage Google to pay close attention and make sure it set an example that would lead to more municipal contracts. “I don’t mind being the poster boy for the big cities,” he said.

Security concerns were addressed by an amendment that was added at the last minute. It requires that the contractor managing the transition to pay a penalty if there is a security breach. That contract still needs to be negotiated.

The city is not moving all of its apps to Google’s cloud. Microsoft continues to provide Office software to city workers under an older contract.

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