The London Borough of Hillingdon claims it will become the first UK local authoritiy to adopt Google’s cloud productivity platform Google Apps early next year, the council has said.
The council is replacing Novell’s Groupwise collaboration tool and Microsoft’s word processing and spreadsheet software for its 3,500 staff, it said in a statement. The switch is expected to save the council £3 million over the next four years.
"While other councils have piloted cloud technologies, Hillingdon understands it is the first to award a contract of this scale," it said.
The contract, signed with Google Apps reseller Cloudreach, will also reduce the council’s carbon footprint and energy bills due to a lowered need for storage and server space, Hillingdon said.
"Going with Google makes the most sense for Hillingdon economically and it will enable us to realise the tremendous opportunities afforded by cloud computing," said Jonathan Bianco, council cabinet member for finance, property and business services. "Doing this means we’re ahead of the curve in anticipating the changes in technology over the coming years."
Speaking at the SmartGov conference earlier this year, Hillingdon’s CIO Steve Palmer said his ambition is to use hosted IT services as much as possible. "I’m not interested in running local data centres at all," he said. "I want us to be infrastructure free."