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L.A. Moving City Operations to State Data Center in $10.5M Deal

The city says it's more cost-effective to transition to the State Data Center in Sacramento rather than to try to operate and maintain its 30-year-old legacy mainframe.

The city of Los Angeles is giving up on its 30-year-old legacy mainframe system and is contracting with the California Department of Technology to move its operations to the State Data Center in Sacramento.

The city will pay the state $10.5 million for three years of service, with an option to renew for another three, under the deal announced Monday.

“State and city IT teams have been collaborating for the past few years in preparation for the move, which includes key public safety workloads,” CDT said in a statement Monday afternoon.

“We are pleased to launch this important partnership with the largest city in the state,” said state Chief Information Officer Amy Tong. “CDT will help the city of L.A. provide more effective and efficient government services to citizens.”

Monday’s announcement comes after years of collaboration between IT teams from the city and the state, and is expected to save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“For the past five years, we have strived to modernize operations through public and private cloud options,” said Ted Ross, general manager of the city’s Information Technology Agency. “The move to migrate away from our 30-year-old legacy system to the state’s secure, cloud-based environment will greatly improve our ability to serve and protect the people of Los Angeles.”

Among the reasons for the move, the city cited the difficulty in recruiting “people to fill the jobs of the city’s rapidly retiring experienced mainframe staff.”

In addition, the city will benefit from the purchasing power of the state in licensing fees and other expenses — and from “not having the expense of replacing aging equipment.”

The state’s deputy CIO, Chris Cruz, described the process of working with Ross's agency as “a phenomenal experience.”

“We’ve been working with the city of Los Angeles for a few years to realize this day,” Cruz said. … Our staffs are ready for the transfer.”

CDT will provide experienced 24/7 staffing, hardware support, security and disaster recovery services.  

Techwire will have additional coverage in coming days. 

Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.