Colorado Cloud Computing – No Natural Boundaries

Colorado State FlagColorado,  Wyoming (North border neighbor state) and Utah (West border neighbor state) have a unique common attribute. They are the only three states in the United States with NO natural formed borders (i.e. river, lake, land formation etc), their boundaries are defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude.

As of March 2012, these states begin sharing another common attribute – use of the Cloud computing resource known as  Google Apps for Government..   Official Google Enterprise Blog, March 8, 2012.

Colorado announced today (March 8, 2012) it will migrate more than 26,000 Executive Branch state employees to Google Apps for Government, joining its neighbors as one of the first states to make the move.

Under the leadership of Secretary of Technology and State Chief Information Officer Kristin D. Russell, Colorado’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has six priorities: customer success, innovation, information security, people, service excellence, and trusted partnership. The decision to migrate to Google Apps is closely aligned with these priorities.

Is there inherent common thinking of those governing these land locked states?  Maybe – but regardless it is interesting to note similarities between “No Natural GEOGRAPHIC Boundaries” and “No Natural COMPUTING RESOURCE Boundaries”.

Legacy computing architectures (Mainframes, Mini-computers and Local Area Network PC’s) by definition have very rigid and specific resource sharing borders.  Much like states with “natural river borders”  such as MI, IA, MO, AR and LA that need to build costly bridges to “share” automobile traffic, these computing systems incur high added expenses to be able to effectively share their resources while retaining appropriate security.

Cloud computing and in particular, Internet based Cloud computing used by Google not only AVOIDS added expense for sharing, it actually makes shared resources fundamental  in its design.  Through the magic of the Internet’s world wide recognized DNS (Domain Name System) controls, it is possible to “logically” declare appropriate legal and resource borders.  Just as Latitude/Longitude are used to formally declare the legal borders of surface land and associated underground resources.

There is nothing inherently wrong with “Natural” bounded computing systems, but issues arise regarding flexibility and ability to interoperate.  Consider this quote from Kristin D. Russell (CO Secretary of Technology and State Chief Information Officer) Wall Street Journal / CIO Journal – Clinton Bolton March 26, 2012

Russell said the current 15 e-mail systems are walled off from each other, which means employees can’t efficiently work together. For example, users on Exchange e-mail can’t find users on GroupWise e-mails and vice versa, making it challenging for employees to share information. Moveover, employees calendars cannot be synchronized in this system.

Just as Latitude/Longitude (a logical vs physical boundary) is used to establish state land boundaries for legal purposes, use of Internet Domain Names (a logical vs physical computing boundary) is used to create resource and legal segmentation of cloud computing resources WITHOUT imposing rigid physical  limitations.  This can radically alter (reducing cost and increasing flexibility) a government’s ability to carry on everyday electronic communication both within the state as well as with other states.

These same benefits can be realized today by any SMB organization: tiny, small or medium businesses. To learn more on how Google Apps will help Colorado improve customer service to citizens while eliminating $2.5M from their budget contact me at 303-932-8146. To get Cloud computing NO Natural Boundary benefits for your Private Company Domain ( check out – (Google Apps For Your Domain).

About GAFYDguy

That nickname comes from "Google Apps For Your Domain" guy. My area of expertise since Google Apps originated in late 2006. As early as the 1980's I was doing a version of CLOUD computing via development of apps that ran on large IBM and DEC "timeshare" systems. I served as product manager for the leading interactive statistical analysis software used by top oil/gas companies. In 1998 as pioneer adopter of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) I entered into the 2nd largest application of CLOUD technology (email being #1). My company was reseller for the 1st commercially available IP-PBX system (VoIP). I also brought to market – HomeGATE, an IP enabled voice driven internet based wireless residential phone. The company then evolved to doing general IP based network apps (aka Cloud Computing) with emphasis on Google Apps, one of their enterprise product offerings.
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