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Massachusetts Bill Asks State to Move Toward Cloud Options

In Massachusetts, lawmakers are asking the state’s Executive Office of Technology Services and Security to consider cloud computing options with newly proposed legislation. The move is driven by similar legislation in other states.

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Massachusetts lawmakers are asking for the state’s Executive Office of Technology Services and Security to consider different cloud computing options as part of an effort to re-engineer the state’s information technology architecture.

The bill would set guidelines to reduce data, hardware and software redundancy, improve system interoperability and data accessibility and develop best practices in information technology for the state.

However, Dave Coscia, a research analyst in sponsor Rep. Angelo Puppolo’s office, explained that the bill is more of a directive on incorporating cloud computing and doesn’t make any substantive mandates.

Other state governments enacting similar bills offered a model for this legislation, Coscia said.

For example, Louisiana recently partnered with SAP to make its human resources functions cloud-based and data-driven. Indiana used federal funding, like the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, to reduce technical debt, move to a multi-cloud solution and create an identity and access management solution. And Washington state agencies are able to move to the cloud or continue utilizing the state’s data center due to recently enacted legislation.

“Much of the reason we filed had to do with seeing the successes other states had with similar bills and the ways cloud computing has been successful in assisting residents in those states,” Coscia said.

As for Massachusetts’ current use of cloud computing, Curtis Wood, the state’s chief information officer, said, “in general, we already have a campaign for cloud computing, but it’s not our only tool.”

Wood explained the state has a multifaceted approach with options like a hybrid cloud system that allows the state to address technology demands based on business and operational needs.

Currently, the state uses a private and public cloud system. However, there’s room to grow, he said, with the addition of SaaS products and reviewing new technology options based on businesses and agencies’ needs.

“We don’t throw everything up on the cloud,” Wood said. “When we get a request, we do due diligence on the government side to see what is needed and work with them to see what the best option is for them.”

“It’s not so much about being cloud-first. It’s more about being balanced and finding the right tech fit for business owners and the commonwealth,” he added.
Katya Maruri is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University.