- Los Angeles will transition from its original mainframe to the California Department of Technology’s (CDT) State Data Center in Sacramento. It’s estimated the move will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing and equipment fees.
- Los Angeles agreed to a three-year, $10.5 million contract, with the option to extend another three years.
- Ted Ross, the general manager of Los Angeles’ Information Technology Agency, said in a statement the “move to migrate away from our 30-year old legacy system to the State’s secure, cloud-based environment will greatly improve our ability to serve and protect the people of Los Angeles.”
As cities take on more digital responsibilities and store more data, their technology needs continue to grow. This growth has forced cities to seek out more storage for the reams of data smart sensors and connected infrastructure will provide, and tools to process it. In an opinion piece for Smart Cities Dive, Nick Psaki, principal system engineer at Pure Storage, wrote that cities needed to get beyond digital infrastructure that was “built over time, probably project by project,” and instead "focus on IT infrastructure from the bottom up” that can handle new data responsibilities.
In a statement, Los Angeles said it was having difficulty recruiting people to staff its mainframe department, and was paying heavily to replace outdated equipment. The state’s data center will provide around-the-clock staffing, hardware support and security. The latter factor is especially important as cities confront rising cybersecurity threats, although Los Angeles has positioned itself as a national leader on cybersecurity research.
Many local and state governments are still trailing the private sector in digital presence, although plenty of opportunities are available. Some have looked to digitize processes like permitting and applications, open up their data stores to citizens and startups, or even use code to clear past marijuana citations. Some are even eying blockchain as a way to streamline city government, with Dubai saying the cryptocurrency technology would help it go paperless by 2021.
Still, cities will need help getting there; private companies like Microsoft have offered their support, and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris recently introduced a bill that would offer $15 million a year to help local governments go digital.