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Minnesota Becomes First State to Move to Microsoft’s Cloud

Photo: Jim Parkin

The Minnesota State Office of Enterprise Technology has announced it will move all state offices to Microsoft‘s Business Productivity Online Suite. All executive branch government entities will be moved to the cloud, and Minnesota local and county governments and educational offices can choose to migrate as well.

Minnesota State Chief Information Officer Gopal Khanna said by standardizing and packaging email, instant messaging, web-based collaboration and conferencing, the state will be able to save significant funds. He said Microsoft’s platform will also upgrade the state’s data privacy measures.

“As states battle growing deficits, they are continually being asked to do more with less,” Khanna said. “Rethinking the way we manage our digital infrastructure centrally, to save locally across all units of government, is a crucial part of the solution. The private sector has utilized technological advancements like cloud computing to realize operational efficiencies for some time now. Government must follow suit.”

Gail Thomas-Flynn, vice president of state and local government at Microsoft, said the state of Minnesota is leading the way in productivity by moving to the cloud.

“Governments small and large are looking to us to help bring security, privacy, and scalability to their IT consolidation choices,” she said. “Because shrinking budgets and increased expectations are both realities, states are wise to explore how a move to the cloud makes long-term strategic and business sense.”

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