Google, Los Angeles hit speed bumps on move to cloud

The city of Los Angeles' transition to Google Apps has hit a few bumps in the implementation of the project and that could mean a costly delay.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Google and the city of Los Angeles have hit a speed bump in the full implementation of Google Apps into the city's various departments and the costs of a delay could top $100,000 - for Google.

Google had a June 30 deadline to get all of Los Angeles' city employees up and running on Google Apps but that didn't happen, according to a Marketwatch report. The Los Angeles city council was reportedly told the costs of keeping employees on that old Novell system while the kinks are worked out could exceed $400,000 but Google says the costs will be closer to about $135,000 and that it will cover them.

One of the key issues behind the delay: security concerns by the city's police department. From the Marketwatch post:

According to a report filed by the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this month, while a technology like Google Apps "may represent savings in hardware purchases and maintenance, and software administration, it also poses certain security concerns."

In particular, the L.A.P.D., which must meet California Department of Justice security requirements, said in the report that it had concerns about Google Apps' data encryption, "segregation of city data from other data maintained by Google," and background checks for Google employees with access to police department information...

In addition, department employees who have been using the software on a pilot basis have experienced delays in receiving their mail, according to the report: "Given that the L.A.P.D. is a 24/7 operation, which relies upon email/Blackberry notifications for public-safety-related incidents across the city, these delays are not acceptable."

Those are all valid concerns but the city of Los Angeles, in being one of the first to deploy Google Apps into an entire municipality, really should have expected a hiccup or two along the way.

A Google spokesman said that it is pleased the progress so-far on this first-of-its-kind project and that the company is working with the city and the integration company to address and resolve the concerns.

To date, more than 10,000 of the city's employees have been switched and another 6,000 should transition by mid-August. Work on moving the city's 13,000 police department employees will follow.

Previous coverage:

Editorial standards