Web Server Switchover Would Supposedly Save City Tons of Money. Naturally, We're Not Doing It.

Guess how much money the city of San Francisco spends, each year, to maintain its current Web content system. Just maintenance — whatever costs are associated with data entry are extra. Remember, this is San Francisco, so think of a ridiculously high number. Then double it.

Here's the answer: $600,000 — even more than the city spends erecting quaint restrooms in the Panhandle. If you think this is a ridiculous total, you're not alone. The city's Department of Technology came up with a solution that would move all of the city's various Web sites to private servers operated by the company Visions. There would be a one-time cost of $529,000 — but, immediately, the yearly maintenance costs would be reduced to zero. The only money the city would still be on the hook for are the $2,500 yearly fees for each city Web site. That'd be a total of $224,000 — immediate yearly savings of $376,000.

Naturally, this isn't going to happen. “We had a pilot program [to switch over] our content management system, but we did not get approval in the new budget year, unfortunately,” says Ron Vincent, the media director for the Department of Technology.

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