Google have announced a special government/public sector edition of Google Apps – their on-line productivity tools stack and MS Office alternative. The suite features the same applications as the regular editions of Google Apps but provides greater security (according to Google).
It is the first range of cloud based applications to receive FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certification from the US government. FIMSA requires higher levels of security by storing email and calendar data into separate system to reduce the chances of cross-leakage.
“With no hardware or software to install and maintain, Google Apps for Government allows agencies to redeploy resources to technology projects core to their mission of serving the public. This new edition should give governments an even stronger case for making the move to the cloud.” [Read More]
The public sector is a key battleground for productivity applications and an area where Microsoft has been dominant for some years despite various challenges from open source alternatives.