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Exclusive: Government readies datacentre cost-cutting plans for 2015 completion

04 Feb 2013
Stacks in a datacentre

A strategy to consolidate hundreds of central government datacentres will be revealed by the Cabinet Office this summer and completed by 2015, V3 has learnt.

Government chief operating officer Stephen Kelly, who is in charge of the reform agenda for central departments, told V3 in an exclusive interview that he would be presenting a full-year strategy for datacentre consolidation in either May or June.

Government Chief Operating Officer Stephen Kelly "We are going to drive a programme to accelerate datacentre consolidation across government. We want to use 10 percent less processing power across government," said Kelly.

Kelly said he had already had a few meetings on the datacentre plans, both internally and with a number of government suppliers, since he took up his chief role in the Cabinet Office in September last year.

"The datacentres will not necessarily all be consolidated in one building. It will have to be more than one because we need back-up, but we plan to eliminate peripheral datacentres," he added.

Kelly said he was unable to reveal specific numbers as yet but said the consolidation plans would be completed across government by the end of this parliament, May 2015.

Recently V3 reported on local government datacentre consolidation plans, which are being led by Geoff Connell, head of ICT at the London boroughs of Newham and Havering and chair of public sector management IT organisation Socitm.

However, Kelly said there is no plan yet to merge central government and local government consolidation programmes.

The plans to cut down the central government estate of over 200 datacentres have been ongoing for years, and are aimed at achieving cost cuts within the public sector and at slashing the sector's overall energy consumption.

"We spend £16bn on IT in government, and if you look at any comparable large-scale corporation that is disproportionate," said Kelly.

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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