America’s Cities Are Running on Software From the ’80s

March 4, 2019

For local officials throughout the country, the shift from old-school servers to rented cloud storage has made it tougher than ever to fund upgrades. They can budget physical equipment as capital expenses, meaning they could issue bonds to pay for them. But cloud computing is a service, as the people selling it love to say, which means officials have to pay for it with operating funds—the same pool of money that goes toward addressing more tangible demands, such as parks and cops.

The deliberate pace of government compounds the problem of strained resources, says Marc Pfeiffer, a former New Jersey official who now advises municipalities on managing technology as part of Rutgers University’s Bloustein Local Government Research Center.

Bloomberg Businessweek, February 28, 2019

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