Security Fears Delay Google, CSC Cloud Computing Project In L.A.


IT security fears have caused Google and solution provider CSC to miss the completion deadline for a massive cloud computing project for the City of Los Angeles, delays that could force the companies to reimburse some of the project costs as they work to get the deployment back on track.

Google and CSC missed the June 30 deadline to complete the project partly due to IT security concerns from some city agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), a source told CRN on Friday. The incomplete project and missed deadline are major setbacks for both Google and CSC, the implementation partner that is leading the project.

Both Google and CSC boasted about their involvement in the project, which saw Google edge out Microsoft to take ownership of L.A.'s cloud computing initiative. The City of L.A. tapped CSC to provide systems integration and services, including architecture, design, integration, migration, archiving, and training for the Google Apps cloud computing system.

"The City of Los Angeles is one of the first local governments in the country to move into the cloud," CSC said in a statement e-mailed to CRN on Friday. "At this time, a significant number of city employees have migrated to Google Apps to replace their current e-mail systems. The project schedule has been extended to more fully meet additional security requirements, and we will continue to work closely with the city and Google, our subcontractor, to ensure the project's success."

Late last year, the City of Los Angeles turned to Google Apps, Google's suite of Web-based productivity tools, and CSC's Cloud Orchestration Services to deliver mission-critical communications and collaboration capabilities to more than 30,000 city employees. At the time the deal was struck, Falls Church, Va.-based CSC said in a blog post that the shift to the cloud could save L.A. about $5.5 million over five years and achieve an ROI of up to $20 million. The contract was worth $7.25 million.

In a guest post in December on Google's Enterprise Blog, L.A. CTO Randi Levin said the city opted for Google Apps for cloud e-mail and collaboration capabilities for the city government because it would improve collaboration among city employees, ease remote access and increase storage.

"We want to provide all these employees with modern tools that help them do their jobs," Levin wrote. Later, Levin added: "In addition to empowering employees across the city, everyone will benefit from Google's security controls, which will provide a higher level of security for City data than exists with our current system."

But security concerns about Google Apps' data encryption and data segregation from the LAPD and the California Department of Justice led to the delay, forcing Google and CSC to miss the deadline in June for full implementation, the source told CRN. The agencies also voiced concern over delayed e-mail delivery suffered during the Google Apps pilot program and the agencies requesting background checks for Google employees that would have access to police department data. The source said Google is working with the LAPD and the Department of Justice to answer their security questions, which is delaying the project's completion.

 

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