Google Apps Help the Government Reach Cloud Nine

Yesterday Google announced a new suite of Google Apps designed specifically for US Government agencies.

Google Apps for Government is the first suite of cloud computing applications to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. government.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, Cloud Computing is another name for Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like electricity. Services and storage are provided over the Internet or *cloud*.

Google Apps for Government includes the same tools as Google Apps Standard Edition, but with a couple of additional security features to meet the needs of the public sector.

Here’s the full list of applications included:

  • Gmail (segregated from public Apps data)
  • Calendar (segregated from public Apps data)
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sites
  • Secure Video
  • Secure Data Storage

The National Institute for Science and Technology has dubbed Google Apps for Government a *community cloud*. In the official blog post, Kripa Krishnan, Technical Program Manager for Google Apps for Government describes the unique advantages of the suite of tools and why it should encourage more Government agencies to migrate to cloud computing:

“Google’s cloud offers higher reliability, best-in-class disaster recovery and access to a steady stream of innovation – all of which can provide substantial improvements over existing systems in addition to significant cost savings. And with no hardware or software to install and maintain, Google Apps for Government allows agencies to redeploy resources to technology projects core to their mission of serving the public. This new edition should give governments an even stronger case for making the move to the cloud.”

The suite is available now to any federal, state or local government in the United States for USD 50 per user, per year.

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