State of Minnesota is becoming the first state in the history to implement cloud computing to its state-wide United Communications and Collaborations services system. It has been announced by Microsoft this week, that state will take advantage of the Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite.
Microsoft side claims that this new agreement will save a lot of tax payers money that has been previously spent for maintaining and upgrading Minnesota’s state network. It has been stated that Minnesota’s agencies will now use their e-mail, instant messaging, web based applications for the state as well as conferencing tools through Microsoft’s online service.
Microsoft officials also announced that for providing the security feature that has been needed for such government applications will be provided by the private dedicated Microsoft environment which will directly connect to Minnesota’s secure network. However it will enable the state to have a safer interaction with its services, I think still the idea of building up government services on private corporation bases might cause controversy in the future due to the possible chance of access to the network from the vendor’s network.
To sum up, I can say that Minnesota took a brave step to put cloud computing to the test for government use. If the system can be satisfying in government transactions, I would say we wouldn’t have to wait long to see other states taking advantage of this new solution.