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July 25, 2014

How IBM is taking California to the cloud

California Department of Technology and IBM announce the ‘next generation technology service’, CalCloud.

By Duncan Macrae

IBM and the California Department of Technology have created CalCloud, a new technology model powered by cloud computing aimed at delivering more innovative government services and savings.

The platform, now available to municipalities and all state and local government agencies on a subscription basis, is the first of its kind to be implemented in the US at the state level.

Through CalCloud, the California Department of Technology says it is providing tools that offer access to IT services at the rapid pace that customers demand while minimising upfront capital investment and controlling financial risk.

Instead of separate IT systems for each department, the CalCloud service model allows government entities to share a common pool of computing resources and operate much more efficiently than they do today. Immediate access to modern back-end services frees up state department to focus on projects with direct impact on the public.

Marybel Batjer, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency, said: "CalCloud is an important step towards providing faster and more cost effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California."
More than 20 state departments have already requested IT services through CalCloud.

As part of this public-private partnership, IBM is supplying and managing the infrastructure, while the California Department of Technology will manage all other aspects of the service offering. Additionally, IBM will work closely with the state to transfer essential knowledge and best practices in security and systems integration to the Department of Technology.

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California’s move to offer shared IT services through CalCloud gives state and local government the ability to buy only the computing resources needed with the flexibility to quickly scale up or scale down resources as workloads demand. CalCloud is designed to allow around the clock access to a shared pool of easily configurable resources including compute, storage, network and disaster recovery services. Theservice model is said to meet stringent security standards based on National Institute of Standards (NIST) for cloud based services and FedRAMP.

Erich Clementi, senior VP, IBM Global Technology Services, said: "Transforming how the State of California delivers technology services is not only more efficient and cost effective, it will spur innovation with cloud capabilities that are open and secure.

"California is setting an example for other states on how to use cloud technology to improve coordination across agencies and municipalities while reducing the barriers and duplication that can impede the delivery of government services."

In addition to IBM, CalCloud partners include AT&T, which will provide excellent network services for the core and edge networks, and IT consulting firms Alexan International, and KPMG, LLC to drive CalCloud’s adoption rate and migration to the new service.

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