Local governments look to the cloud, Corpus Christi goes the open source route, with a twist, the Commerce Department wants your opinion and financial fraud victims have a new resource, all in this week’s version of the Rock Creek Roundup.
–Saving resources, having access to advanced features and functionality, and reliable availability and uptime were the top three reasons local governments cited for using cloud computing. In a recent survey by nonprofit Public Technology Institute (PTI), 45% of responding local governments are currently taking advantage of cloud computing applications and services, with an additional 19% anticipating a move to cloud computing within the next 12 months. For the remaining respondents with no plans of moving to the cloud, fears about security, worries about being among the first to take the leap, and cost issues were cited as top concerns. Want to know more? Sign up for PTI’s free webinar detailing the survey results on April 28, 2010 at 2PM.
–In other local government news, combining a hybrid open source document management system with a more traditional maintenance and support package seems to be a cost effective way of taking care of business. For example, information technology professionals within local government in Corpus Christi, TX recently deployed a limited test of Alfesco, an open source document management solution. Results so far seem to be promising, and city CIO Michael Armstrong has been impressed by both the package’s robust feature set and ease of use. Armstrong acknowledges that the government cannot literally or figuratively afford to wait around for open source IT pros to fix a software bug for free, and asserts that the hybrid free software/fee for maintenance approach may change the way that governments currently feel about employing open source solutions.
–Is the government doing all it can to foster business innovation while still protecting consumer privacy online? The Commerce Department wants to know what you think. Earlier this week, the Department announced the formation of an Internet Policy Task Force, which released a Notice of Inquiry or NOI (PDF). The notice implores “commercial, academic and civil society sectors and citizens” to discuss “the impact of current privacy laws in the United States and around the world on the pace of innovation in the information economy.” According to the NOI, comments are due by June 7, 2010 and may be mailed or emailed to the Department. No sign yet of a comment form on the Department website, but we’ll keep our eyes out.
–You just logged into your company’s health savings account or your online bank and what you see causes your heart to pound faster—your account is frozen, or the money that was there the last time you checked isn’t there any more, and you didn’t withdraw it. What do you do next? The Obama Administration is trying to help victims of financial fraud via a new website, StopFraud.gov. The website is a veritable one-stop-shop for reporting incidents of fraud and learning more about how to protect yourself from fraudulent activity in the first place. With direct links to more than 20 government agencies StopFraud.gov gives consumers a clear action path toward resolving financial fraud situations.