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Governments looking at SaaS to deliver improved service at less cost has reported that the U.S. Census Bureau has started to look at SaaS applications to reduce the cost and accelerate delivery of its services as it gears up for its 2010 census. Although adoption will start slow, the Census Bureau expects SaaS to help it be more efficient as it hires and fingerprints some 1.4 million temporary workers, establishes 500 temporary census offices, and leverages 170,000 partners. It reports that although the Census sees great promise in Cloud Computing, they are starting small.

That makes sense given the importance and volume of data they are dealing with. The Bureau already uses for its Integrated Partner Contact Database successfully. “The database was up and running in 6 weeks — an incredibly short time period for the government, which often spends months or years scoping and building systems.” This example shows how SaaS could have dramatic implications for Government organizations with a complex remit and IT infrastructure to match. It will be interesting to watch how this project pans out and how far down the SaaS road the Census Bureau travels. Perhaps we can all learn some lessons along the way…

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