Pittsburg is shifting its IT infrastructure to Google’s cloud – SiliconANGLE Information


The City of Pittsburgh said today that it’s planning to migrate its legacy information technology infrastructure to Google Cloud.

The move is a big win for Google LLC, enabling it to highlight the strength of its public sector cloud offerings. For their part, Pittsburgh officials said that once the migration to Google is complete, they will be able to build new data analytics tools that can enable new “smart city” initiatives. The city said it will also be able to create entirely new consumer-facing applications that will deliver new digital services for residents.

Heidi Norman, acting director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance, told SiliconANGLE in an interview that the city began its relationship with Google last year when it had an urgent need for more storage that its on-premises servers were unable to handle.

“We actually weren’t looking for a cloud provider at the time,” Norman said. “(But) during that work together, Google learned more about the challenges Pittsburgh faced. Google approached us in late 2020 with a proposal to move our infrastructure to Google Cloud.”

Norman said the city soon agreed to move all of its IT operations, from servers and compute to storage and applications, to Google’s cloud. She explained that the city will be able to achieve four major goals through the move.

First, it will ensure access to a more scalable infrastructure, especially with regards to the city’s storage requirements. Second, it will benefit from improved security. Third, the move will help to reduce costs. And fourth, it will be able to “dramatically enhance” data services across 19 city departments, Norman said.

Greater scalability and security is important for multiple departments and also for handling critical services within Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety, including its police, fire and emergency medical services, officials said.

Meanwhile, through the enhanced data services, the city’s 19 departments will be able to create and scale up various new services that aim to improve the quality of life of residents in areas such as mobility, transportation, infrastructure and public safety.

Norman said the City is planning to create a data lake on Google’s cloud, and then use its BigQuery service to analyze that data and enable better decision making, for example. “Down the road, once we have those up and operating, those departments that offer direct services to citizens will be able to take advantage of new services,” she said.

Lastly, the City is hoping to expand the smart city services it currently offers, which includes smart trash cans, snowplow tracker and route optimization services.

“We’re proud to partner with the City of Pittsburgh as part of its bold and transformative shift to the cloud,” said Mike Daniels, vice president for Global Public Sector at Google Cloud. “The city’s approach, powered by our technology, will open many opportunities to reimagine how to serve citizens, now and into the future.”

With reporting from Robert Hof

Photo: pittsburghbeautiful/Pixabay

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