The U.S. Census Bureau was recently named by International Data Group's (IDG) Computerworld Honors Program as one of the top five 2011 Laureates for Business Responsiveness. One of the main reasons why the Census Bureau was recognized was because of its innovative adoption of cloud computing solutions for the 2010 Census website.
The program from IDG recognizes and honors visionary applications of information technology that especially promote positive social, economic and educational change. The Census Bureau was recognized for innovation which has significantly improved customer responsiveness. In a release, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said that “We are honored Computerworld has acknowledged our efforts to reach every American in the 2010 Census campaign. The 2010census.gov website was a critical part of our ability to communicate with the public and improve customer relations during 2010 Census.”
It was during the 2010 Census, when the Census Bureau decided to make use of cloud computing technology to offer a more efficient, cost-effective and accurate delivery of its services to both the public as well as its employees. The project was a great success and helped to ensure the secure, accurate and cost-effective marketing and awareness campaign of the 2010 Census.
Brian McGrath, the Census Bureau's chief information officer said that, “We saved taxpayers $1.5 million by leveraging Akamai's (News - Alert) cloud computing network for 2010census.gov. By using Akamai's network, the Census Bureau did not have to build a costly infrastructure that would only be used for a short time during the decennial census.”
The Census Bureau, when making plans for the 2010 Census, realized that it was in need of a secure, reliable network that had the capability to handle large spikes in traffic that came to its website during the motivational campaign. Early in Jan 2010, the Census Bureau started using Akamai's cloud computing services to boost the performance of 2010census.gov website which featured video clips, blogs and other interactive content. During peak volumes of traffic, 2010census.gov attracted between 4 to 5 million hits per week.
Apart from being recognized by Computerworld, the 2010 Census communications campaign has received other honors. The National Association of Government Communicators awarded the Census Bureau in May 2011 and back in 2010 Mediaweek which is one of the leading advertising industry trade publications, honored the 2010 Census advertising campaign with the “Best Multiculture Campaign” and “Best Branded Content.”
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Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell