After things started to go poorly on the service contract,
the city worked closely with its vendor to better define communications,
ensured that the contract was clear in its divisions of power, and put staff in
place to act as liaisons between the city and the vendor.
In the end service dramatically improved and now other
cities are looking to San Diego as a model example of how to do it right. This
is something we’re very serious about: the hybrid approach to IT outsourcing is
the best way to ensure that both parties have the tools to do a top notch job.
If the vendor has no buy in from the city or if the city gives the vendor free
reign, that’s when problem arise. The solution is to strike a happy medium
between decision making and service delivery.
One of the best ways for cities to cut their IT costs for
energy is simple: reduce the number of active physical servers. Servers consume
a lot of energy and produce a lot of heat which require AC to work harder to
cool the server room. By looking into consolidation and virtualization
technologies cites can dramatically reduce their energy consumption both via
the servers themselves and in cooling costs. For larger cities with 10s or even
hundreds of servers, these projects can save millions off the energy bill and
will more than pay for the cost of implementation. When it comes to energy
efficiency, you’ve got to spend money to save money.
This is a lesson that Charlotte, NC recently
learned when its vendor lost a year’s worth of employee health insurance data containing social security numbers due to misplaced DVD. To further the damage,
the information on the discs was not even encrypted. This represents a huge
danger to data security.
The Lesson? If you are backing up data, make sure it is
backed up to multiple secure places (offsite and onsite) and that it is
encrypted so even in the event of theft the data is nearly useless.
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