Maintaining IT infrastructure is a costly reality for local governments. Often limited by the budget constraints of public funding, governments are constantly searching for cost-effective ways to maintain and upgrade infrastructure.
Outdated IT infrastructure can slow government operations and leave localities vulnerable to cyberattacks, increasing security liabilities over time. Provinces, states, counties, First Nations, cities and towns all need affordable, secure and long-lasting solutions to IT infrastructure.
By leaving sections of IT infrastructure in the hands of cloud service providers – typically referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS) – local governments do not need to worry about constantly maintaining and updating their systems. Cloud services continuously update hardware and software as new releases are made available, ensuring that IT assets remain secure and reliable. By being location independent, cloud services also enable authorized users to access mapping and asset information off-site while still maintaining security protocols, enabling increased collaboration between agencies as well as engagement with the public.
A concern for every local government is data security and server location sovereignty. Migrating data off-site requires certain regulatory needs to be met, including, but not limited to: ownership of data, data residency (where servers are located), security audit processes, compliance to privacy laws and regulations, proper data logging procedures and physical security of data centres. As long as security factors are complied with, cloud services are a safe, cost-effective and efficient way to store and manage data.
Lightship provides an integrated suite of tools that allows local governments to collect and view GIS data, as well as monitor infrastructure and other assets, in a secure and regularly-updated cloud platform. The software also collects real-time data from sensors using device-agnostic integration methods – meaning any sensor can be put into the Lightship network for an all-encompassing view of public works infrastructure, GIS data, employees and assets.
Using the secure AWS cloud, Lightship has flexible data residency options in both the United States and Canada, ensuring that governments meet privacy and data storage regulations. Lightship currently provides GIS and data management services to local, provincial and federal Canadian governmental clients, and is being implemented into British Columbia’s emergency management services and municipalities through a prestigious Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) contract with the Government of Canada.
An example of local government adopting cloud services is the City of Prince Rupert, which uses Lightship for unified asset management and municipal infrastructure mapping. With Lightship, city workers can view their GIS datasets at a glance from both desktop browsers and mobile devices, while also capturing data and generating reports so that they get the information they need, when they need it. Workers can then share that data internally and externally so that their field teams have the real-time information they need to do their jobs more efficiently.
Lightship also works with many First Nations communities, such as the Lower Nicola Indian Band in southern British Columbia, which uses Lightship tools to manage land referrals. With Lightship displaying their geospatial information and other important land data in one place, the Lower Nicola community is better able to manage their land, prioritize tasks and act faster on informed decisions.