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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: The Strategic Value of the Cloud for State & Local Governments

Almost everyone has heard of the “cloud,” as a result of advertising by computer companies and frequent mentions in the news media. “Cloud” refers to technology resources used by an organization that are not at their own location, but available over the global data communications network (otherwise called the Internet).  Moreover, the cloud is not just a question of getting access to some big data center in the sky; ultimately, it means gaining authorized access to any data or computing resource that is part of the Internet, and even combining data and software components from physically distant computers.

Public officials may have heard about how the cloud is being used in the public sector. For example, the United States Conference of Mayors had a session on this at its 2011 meeting where various mayors spoke about how their cities were using such services as shared email “in the cloud.” At the National Association of Counties, there have been sessions describing a cloud that is restricted to trusted government agencies at the state and local levels — what some call the “private cloud” because its services are not available to every organization, thus helping preserve the privacy and integrity of government data.

But the reasons state and local government officials might want to use the cloud are not often explained.  This post will describe the various ways that the cloud can provide strategic value to state and local governments.

Cost Savings

Most people have first heard of the cloud as a means of saving money, which is especially attractive at a time of tighter budgets. So instead of buying hardware and software, a government agency rents what it needs, when it needs it. This approach means you can shift from using bonds and debt service to an approach that matches your IT budget with the real demand each year.

And, often, the software services available in the cloud, such as email, can cost less per employee than licensing equivalent software in-house.

Resilience, Flexibility & Faster Technology Adoption

Potential cost reduction is not all there is to the story. There are other positive benefits as well.

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Why People Share, According to Facebook

March 13, 2012 at 9:08 am PST

Before we decide what to post, we must first understand what compels our fans to share. This understanding will allow us to create consistent, “viral” posts that will generate organic buzz. Thankfully, we have Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook, to explain these social behaviors that occur on Facebook, and in life, so we can actively create conversations and build relationships that will result in sharing of content.

Watch this video about why people share, presented at this year’s Facebook Marketing Conference or enjoy the brief synopsis below to better understand what drives our conversations and, in turn, sharing. (jump to the 3 minute mark to get straight to Paul)

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Here’s the Best Way to Share via WebEx [video]

If you are using WebEx for your video conference, one of the things you may want to do is share information that’s on your computer.

Many people share their desktop -- which means your attendees can see everything happening on your computer. This can present problems if you don’t remember to shut down other applications while you are sharing your desktop. But there are ways to limit what is visible by sharing a document or an application.

Here’s a quick look at your choices [watch video]. Read More »

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How to Share a Video via WebEx

We get many requests for help when sharing a video via WebEx during a meeting. We have made some improvements that make sharing quite easy. To help you do it, we’ve recorded a quick WebEx with the how-to!

Watch the recording now.

You don’t need anything special to watch the recording. Just Read More »

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Using WebEx to Share Your Adventure: We Are Going to Mt Everest!

Last year, we hosted a free WebEx with adventurer Bear Grylls. He talked to us from his home in Wales and he talked about his experience climbing Mt Everest. He spoke of the thrill, the challenges and the deaths of his climbing mates as he reached for the summit. It was fascinating.

Now we are headed back to Mt Everest, but this time it’s personal. Read More »

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