California's new CalCloud, a cloud-based platform built with the help of IBM, will help spur new government services and save money, according to the California Department of Technology.

The platform is now available to state and local agencies on a subscription basis and is reportedly the first of its kind in the U.S. The platform lets agencies share a common pool of resources and gain efficiencies in avoiding duplication of technology as well as back-end operational needs.

The effort cost the state $400 million, according to a news report.

"CalCloud is an important step towards providing faster and more cost effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California," said Marybel Batjer, secretary of the Government Operations Agency, in a release announcing the technology effort.

Currently more than 20 state departments are using IT services offered through CalCloud. IBM is managing the system, with the state IT department handling all the other requirements.  

CalCloud meets stringent security standards based on National Institute of Standards requirements for cloud-based services and FedRAMP, according to the release. FedRAMP, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, is the government's program to give agencies a standardized approach to security, authorization and monitoring for cloud products and services.

"Transforming how the state of California delivers technology services is not only more efficient and cost effective, it will spur innovation with cloud capabilities that are open and secure," said Erich Clementi, senior VP of IBM Global Technology Services.

"California is setting an example for other states on how to use cloud technology to improve coordination across agencies and municipalities while reducing the barriers and duplication that can impede the delivery of government services."

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