re: New York City Builds On Its Technology Base
In order for Lower Manhattan (and much of the rest of New York City) to really remain competitive as we move into the future, there's a good deal of infrastructure that needs to be updated, maintained or flat-out replaced.
Hurricane Sandy really did a number on a lot of buildings in and below the Financial District. Entire companies were wiped out because they were in building levels below ground. Electrical service was the primary issue after the storm - trying to make sure that everything was back up and operating. Then the centralized heating system was the issue. After spending two weeks operating 100% remotely, some organizations came back to their offices only to find that there was no climate control (i.e. heat) - and it gets cold in those buildings downtown in early November.
One of the things that a number of organizations are still dealing with, are telecommunications issues. One organization that I'm very familiar with was having issues with basic phone service up until the middle of February, just shy of 4 months after the storm.
Transportation was another issue with the South Ferry stop on the 1 train just re-opening recently.
The primary reason behind NYC (well, NYC DoITT) building a huge centralized data center is the cost savings. Rather than each department under the NYC umbrella having its own, for example, Exchange/Domino/messaging administrator, all of those positions can now be collapsed down to a small team of people to handle all of the departments. The city isn't building big tech for the sake of building big tech.
Also, not everything that the city is working on is "peaches and cream" - lest we forget the CityTime scandal.