Our friends over at GovFresh are talking about Google Apps for Government. The City of Pittsburgh started off the New Year with a big change. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced that starting this week the city’s government had moved to Google Apps for Government. The move by 3,000 city employees will save the city 25 percent in annual email costs.

A 25 percent savings is always good, especially now when most cities are facing budget deficits. As part of the move government employees now have shorter consistent email addresses and 500 times more email capacity. Shorter email addresses make it easier for government officials to connect with the public and improve services. All this effectiveness means Pittsburgh will have fewer IT personnel spending time on server management and maintenance.

Emerging Gov 2.0 tools like Google Apps for Government can make governments more effective and responsive, and many cities in California have adopted similar Gov 2.0 tools. Yet, San Francisco and City Hall remain behind the times. Don’t you think it’s time our city government upgraded to more efficient technology like Google Apps?