The government is hoping to reduce its ownership of datacentre space from 220 facilities to between nine and 12 as part of continued ICT spending cuts.
Bill McCluggage, the government's deputy chief information officer, explained at the 360 IT infrastructure event in London that the government had earmarked the move as one way to reduce ICT budgets.
"We found that some 220 datacentres fall in our catchment area, so by using capabilities such as clustering technology we are hoping to reduce this while providing resilience," he said.
The government put a freeze on all ICT purchases over £1m on 24 May, but McCluggage revealed that there had been 140 exception requests from central government and public sector departments.
"Some of the requests were accepted, but many were simply not valid and were rejected. We will be publishing information on the requests and why they were accepted or rejected in the next few days on the data.gov.uk web site," he said.
The government had also identified a high number of projects as involving unnecessary duplication.
"We found 397 common projects in various categories, such as business applications, among departments that had crossover, and we are working through these to see if synergies can be found to spread the cost," said McCluggage.
The government is also keen to make use of cloud computing through its own G-Cloud environment, and the use of commercial services such as those from Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
"We want to avoid supplier lock-in in the IT stack, where companies make themselves indispensable to a department, as well as open the market for SMEs to offer services, using the G-Cloud to rebalance the playing field," McCluggage explained.
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