As the Dutch cities of Uithoorn, Diemen and Ouder-Amstel join forces as Duo+ to deal with political and administrative issues, they’re looking at one main solution: Microsoft Azure cloud services. Without the funds of their much larger neighbours, and workforces running on the smaller side, these cities are putting smart structures in place combining three IT infrastructures into one with an alliance based on utilising new technology in the most efficient way possible. Here’s how this project got its start on limited funds—and will offer long-term gains—all thanks to existing Microsoft technology.— Philippe Leonard
Power of the Cloud
With small budgets and small workforces, these three Dutch cities (with populations of less than 30,000) looked to their commonalities to solve political and administrative issues. Since all three are geographically and politically compatible, they realized they could be more efficient by combining their resources with an IT infrastructure such as Microsoft Cloud. The goal: a “mobile-first, app-driven solution that would be available anywhere, anytime, and on any device.” With the help of Dutch company InSpark, Duo+ looked to create a hybrid cloud IT environment that would work on mobile platforms and be accessible to the 800 users scattered throughout the three cities.
Cloud Strategy Benefits
Since budget was one of the limiting factors, Duo+ looked to pay-per-use models to avoid the build-up of initial costs and “embrace the pace of innovation that the cloud brings,” explains Maarten Goet, managing partner at InSpark. By working with existing Microsoft technologies instead of starting from scratch, Duo+ could not only save time agreeing on the right platform, they could also weave in new technology once it’s released. Here are a few other benefits:
-Anywhere, Anytime Access: Remote and mobile workers can work the same way from home as they would in the office, joining Skype to make calls, and the system showing their status as “busy.”
-No Backup Necessary: With Microsoft’s Azure Backup, Azure Storage and Azure Site Recovery, the IT department’s job is much easier, since these programs manage everything from data storage to backup and recovery.
-Mobile Collaboration: Not only does the cloud consolidate work, it also brings colleagues together allowing them to collaborate on projects no matter where they’re based.
With integrated IT platforms such as this, cities can team up to develop smarter solutions, consolidating resources saving both time and money for the government, while providing an example for the business sector to follow.