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The California Coastal Commission plans and regulates the use of land and water along the state’s 1,100 miles of coastline. The Commission’s staff is committed to protecting and enhancing the state’s coast and ocean for present and future generations, and manages a broad range of development activities, including building construction, land division, and anything that alters the use of land or public access to coastal waters. 

Outdated deployment of technology was getting in the way of efforts to tend to those civic needs—the Coastal Commission’s IT staff found itself spending much of its time on the care and feeding of its on-premise systems and started looking at the benefits of the cloud to free up time and talent to work in a better, more efficient way.  

Accela partnered closely with the team to develop a plan to migrate, and the Commission took the leap. Their recent move to the cloud has put the Commission’s technology team on more productive footing. With automatic version upgrades and overall ease of use, a cloud deployment freed up IT teams to focus their energies on elevating the overall level of delivering against the Commission’s mission. The Commission leveraged the well-defined structure and support of Accela’s SaaS upgrade process – designed to offload any heavy lift — to chart a cost-effective migration path. The move has allowed the Commission to bolster resiliency, scalability, and efficiency via a flexible, built-for-government platform powered by Azure. 

“Migrating our Accela Civic Platform to the cloud lets IT staff focus on the Coastal Commission community and employee needs first, by not having to spend as much time maintaining hardware, software and data security,” said Al Wanger, deputy director of Coastal Commission for the state of California. 

Journey to cloud 

On Wednesday, April 27, Wanger will share his agency’s journey to the cloud with Accela in a 45-minute webinar that will also include Jim White, Accela VP of SaaS Migration, and JK Knight, Accela Chief Customer Officer, who will host the event. 

During the webinar, Wanger will share how partnering with Accela on his agency’s cloud migration enabled the Coastal Commission to leverage modern, flexible, and scalable technology to automate its operations, save money, and improve citizen service.  

In addition, Wanger and Accela’s SaaS expert, Jim White, will cover: 

  • An overview of the migration process 
  • The positive impact of repurposing resources and shifting IT talent away from the maintenance of on-prem resources toward high-level strategic priorities 
  • How moving to the cloud with Accela offers municipalities enhanced security and stability and greater flexibility as they strive to navigate an ever-changing landscape of citizen priorities 
  • The cost benefits inherent in a cloud migration  

“I’m excited to help agencies understand the total cost of ownership — where they’re not just looking at the cost of the software, but also the indirect costs of supporting a data center: The staff, the storage, the backup,” White said. “It has been our experience that when all that is factored in, SaaS likely is comparable to what agencies are doing today, and in most cases will probably cost a little less.” 

A shift to the cloud typically costs the same as any other major upgrade, but with that move, IT frees itself from the ongoing expense of future updates, which roll out seamlessly as part of the as-a-service offering.  

Cloud in action 

“The move to SaaS has allowed us to spend more time thinking about how to provide public access to our data which is exciting for everyone,” Wanger said. “Accela helped us through the entire migration process and felt like an extension of our project team, from project scoping to migration to post go-live support.”  

To join us for the webinar, please register here. 


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