Colorado takes 'major leap' into public cloud, sees cost savings

Colorado's CTO David McCurdy tells StateScoop about how the state is diving deeper into cloud and the cost savings that are coming from the effort.

When David McCurdy joined Colorado as the state’s chief technology officer, his top priority was to stabilize the state’s infrastructure. Since that stabilization, the state has consolidated data centers and moved deeper into cloud infrastructure.

“We’ve gotten down to three data centers in the state, and this year, we’ve made a major push into infrastructure as a service,” McCurdy says in a video interview with StateScoop conducted last month at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers conference in San Diego.

That move toward infrastructure as a service — a cloud platform that provides virtualized compute resources — indicates a “major leap” for the state in the cloud space, he says.

“We went from zero to hundreds of servers up in public clouds,” McCurdy says in the video. “We’ve actually developed a cloud team in house now, and we’ve started partnering with organizations to help manage it.”

But while McCurdy doesn’t necessarily see a state government information technology agency fully embracing public cloud in the short term, he but does see it play an increasing role in a combination with other types of infrastructure like private clouds and mainframes.

“I do think there’s a right mix, and we’re wanting to take advantage of where the industry is strong and where the state is strong,” McCurdy says.

From the state’s work with Google alone — one of several cloud vendors the state uses — McCurdy says Colorado has seen “upwards of $40 million” in cost savings.

“Even in the Google world — we’ve been a Google customer for 4 or 5 years now — the savings we’ve seen over that time period is upwards of $40 million,” McCurdy says. “[Overall] I would say we’re in the hundreds of millions of dollars [in savings], but anybody can feel free to go out and look at the state of Colorado and find our yearly results in terms of cost savings.”

McCurdy on cost savings:

McCurdy on data analytics:

McCurdy on accessibility:

This video was produced by StateScoop and presented by Google Cloud.

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David McCurdy, Google, Google Cloud, NASCIO, NASCIO 2018, NASCIO Annual 2018
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