Thursday, January 5, 2012

Open Source Computing with No On-site Servers

The City of Pittsburgh announced yesterday that they have switched over to Google Apps, getting rid of all of their previous Microsoft programs - and attendant/recurring licensing fees.  This comes up every year during budget time about how Lake Worth should go to open source software.  If a city the size of Pittsburgh can do this one time transition for $400,000, I am sure Lake Worth's conversion would be much less.  Pittsburgh predicts that on a recurring basis, they will save 25% of what they used to pay for Microsoft products.

Most importantly, the city loses the need to have, maintain and upgrade its own servers.  Everything will be stored in the "cloud."

Under public comment at the last City Commission meeting, Greg Rice pointed out how obviously superior Lantana's, our smaller neighbor to the south, website is - noting that ours is hard to navigate and not regularly updated.  Think how many resources could be allocated toward an improved website and resident interface if we didn't have to dedicate personnel to maintaining our own servers and other programs citywide.  Rather than just talk about this and preen ourselves on the dais talking about "open source" software, lets take steps to actually do it.