We previously relied on a time-consuming manual process. People sent me files, and I put them on a shared server and distributed access rights manually, indicating who had which access privileges—view, edit, print, etc.—with security top of mind. I'd estimate it could take three city employees, year-round, just to help people share documents and ensure that the right people can access the right information.
Google Apps proved tremendously empowering in moving projects forward. Today, with Google Apps, we can allow city employees to share documents securely for projects on their own—and we have more time to explore new ways to secure their systems.
In high-security instances, I can step in and ensure that we've set up the right access provisions using Google Apps. The upshot is that we can provide a way for people to collaborate on time lines, tasks, and other project documents and deliverables—all while maintaining security controls, and eliminating the high personnel costs and overhead typically required for hands-on document security.
For us, Google Apps frees up time and resources because it provides an easy way to control, work on, and search documents—all in a low-overhead, flexible, and secure way we were never able to in the past.