Denver is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, with 21% growth in the past decade. People are drawn to its high quality of life, reasonable cost of living, and easy access to the great outdoors. Tech companies increasingly see the area as a desirable place to set up shop. All that growth has increased demand for convenient, responsive government services. And the City and County of Denver has stepped up to the challenge. 

We require platforms that can expand and contract as city services are delivered without the burden of big capital expenditures every few years. Sean Greer, City and County of Denver

Committed to giving people a better experience, most government services are accessible both in person and online. People can choose how to pay a parking ticket, apply for a building permit, or report a pothole. Digitizing government services requires a lot of adaptability and efficiency behind the scenes—especially as the city grows and constituent expectations evolve. That’s something Sean Greer thinks about a lot. As the IT director of service delivery at the City and County of Denver, Greer is always looking toward what’s next for residents, employees, and the city itself.

“How people interact with local governments will continue to change substantially, and our job is to think about what we need to do to support that evolution,” Greer says. “We require platforms that can expand and contract as city services are delivered without the burden of big capital expenditures every few years.” 

Flexible, Cost-effective Storage for a Growing City

The City and County of Denver worked with Pure Professional Services and World Wide Technology to deploy Pure Storage® FlashArray™ in its data center. With a Pure as-a-Service™ subscription, the City and County of Denver pays only for what it uses instead of making a big upfront investment in storage. The array supports the entire virtual server environment, including a significant number of city services. And it can scale up and down as needed, without the need to retain expensive extra capacity. 

“With the storage-as-a-service solution, we’re no longer guessing at what we might need in three to five years, investing in capacity and performance that may or may not meet our needs down the road,” says Greer. “The OPEX model gives us a stable cost structure while avoiding time-consuming procurement processes and forklift upgrades.”

That flexibility is key to Denver’s ability to add new resident services and can be particularly useful for seasonal events such as elections when a large amount of storage capacity and performance is needed for just a few months. It’s also extremely important in unexpected circumstances such as a pandemic.

Accelerating the Journey toward a Digital Future

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Colorado, the City and County of Denver had to go almost completely digital over the course of a weekend. That meant getting most of the employees in HR, finance, and general services ready to work from home—and making sure residents could still access critical government services online. During peak periods during 2020,  80% of employees—including safety, transportation, and public health personnel—were working remotely.

Moving forward with Storage as a Service, storage will not be something that Greer has to worry about during these unpredictable times. Pure Storage will manage the FlashArray for the City and County of Denver, managing and monitoring performance, upgrading controllers, and adding capacity as needed. This frees up Denver’s Technology Services team to focus on efforts that improve the resident experience.

“That’s a huge benefit to my team, especially as we’re always being asked to do more with less,” Greer says. “The ability to tap into storage as a service, combined with scalability and automation, is the key to supporting all the new services our residents expect.”

As Denver looks at how to support remote work and take advantage of emerging technologies to better serve the public, the city has a scalable, cost-effective option to handle the dynamic, growing volumes of data. That has accelerated the City and County of Denver’s journey toward a digital future—one that makes services more accessible and convenient for both residents and employees.

“When we sent people home, they had to change the way they worked—it was a cultural transformation as much as a technology transition,” says Greer. “I think it bodes well for the City and County of Denver because we have come out of the situation stronger and better equipped to serve residents in an equitable way. And that is making Denver an even more desirable place to live.”

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