The average employee spends a majority of their time using basic computing services, by moving email to the cloud; the government could see a savings in operating and electricity. Google offers its email client GMail for government agencies under the Google Apps platform (GAP).
GMail includes features comparable or better than what the USG is currently using: (1) GMail supports integration with Microsoft (MS) Outlook allowing a seamless transition. (2) GAP has a 99.9% uptime - an increase over current systems improving efficiency with less personnel waiting. (3) 25GB of email storage - 256 times more than average allowing users to maintain secure access to data without the need to carry around storage. Improving efficiency as employees will not have to constantly delete/archive items, especially before going on official travel. (4) Integration with the current Blackberry system. (5) Integrate with other devices including Android and iPhone allowing USG to competitively contract services out to the best bidder possibly resulting in cost savings. (6) Constant backup procedures reducing the amount of personal and enterprise equipment – improving efficiency since employees will not have to perform backups. (7) 24/7 technical support. (8) GAP allows for use of Google Docs (MS Office replacements). Further investigation into Google Docs may allow for even more cost savings. (9) GAP has multiple security features which space limitations will not allow elaboration.
Cost: GAP costs $50 per user per year. Google would charge an agency with 1000 employees $50K a year to host their email (and give access to the entire GAP.) $50K is less than the cost of a single IT professional. Cost savings would include: (1) Less equipment to procure, maintain and upgrade. (2) Reduction in licensing costs, if the agency decides to remove Microsoft Outlook and use the GMail client. (3) Reduction of many IT professionals due to less equipment. (4) Electricity savings due to less equipment.