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As strategy matures, California evolves cloud effort

The state’s deputy chief information officer says the CalCloud platform, which serves state and local agencies, will continue to evolve.

Jake Williams
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Jake Williams Manager of Strategic Initiatives

Jake Williams is currently the Manager of Strategic Initiatives for StateScoop, based in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on IT initiatives and p...

Nearly three years after its launch, California is continuing to evolve CalCloud, its state-run cloud service provider, deputy CIO Chris Cruz says.

“I think we’re evolving our cloud strategy,” Cruz tells StateScoop in an April video interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference. “We’re expanding our cloud strategy to be more of a hybrid cloud approach, because we think that best serves the customers and the constituents and the community that we serve.”

It’s not just delivery of service that is driving the move to hybrid cloud, Cruz says, the state is also finding opportunities to generate a better return on investment for the state.

“That being said, we’ve had cloud on premise for infrastructure as a service, and now we’re using the public cloud outsourcing strategy for software as a service, and also platform as a service,” Cruz says. “Diversifying our cloud strategy has become very important in California, as we serve not only state government, but cities and counties and now academia as we’re leveraging academia into our statewide network in a peer-to-peer relationship.”

In addition to using hybrid cloud, Cruz says the Department of Technology — which controls the state’s IT operations — is also working to standardize the state’s IT structure, and develop IT enterprise and asset management to better enable the state to broker services with stronger security standards.

“We think that this is really the way to go, given a lot of emphasis now has been put on information security, and really what gets measured truly gets managed from that particular perspective,” Cruz says. “We’ll have a statewide IT infrastructure that has built-in standardization with higher levels of security and encryption involved.”

The restructuring and IT standardization comes nearly seven months after the announcement of former FireEye executive Peter Liebert as the state’s chief information security officer. It also comes as state CIO Amy Tong enters her second full year as the state’s IT leader.

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