Hillingdon council migrates to the cloud with Google Apps

News Article - Thursday, 22 December 2011 11:20

Category: Hosting

Hillingdon Council is hoping to slash £3 million off its budget over the next four years by migrating its office software to the cloud and adopting Google Apps for Enterprises. The local authority is set to shift to the cloud-based solution in February of next year - a move that will affect 3,500 staff.

Workers will be expected to abandon Microsoft Outlook in favour of Google's Enterprise offering. However, the process is expected to take two years in total - with the migration of email and calendar functions happening within five months. Other functions, including instant messaging and video conferencing capabilities will be shifted over to Google after the successful transfer of email, reports Computing.co.uk.

Speaking to the news provider, Steve Palmer, head of ICT at Hillingdon, said that the main benefit would be that the council would no longer have to pay licence fees. However, productivity gains are also expected to be made.

"In terms of productivity, Google Apps allows us to collaborate internally and access documents at any time using instant messaging and videoconferences, this will then help us to find new ways of being able to deliver public services," Mr Palmer concluded.

Earlier this year, Rupert Chapman, a security specialist at PA Consulting, told the Financial Times that cloud-based infrastructure offered by the likes of Amazon and Google can be more secure than internal infrastructure.

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