Earlier this year, the UK government’s CIO John Suffolk revealed plans to consolidate its 130 data centres into around 12 in order to achieve “substantial savings in cost and energy consumption”.
However, a new report from the US, whose government has also launched a data centre consolidation plan, has found that a lack of funds is holding back progress.
The report, conducted by government commerce analyst INPUT, found that two thirds of government data centre managers and CIOs consider limited funding as the principal barrier to data centre consolidation. "Lack of upfront funding presents a major consolidation obstacle for [government] agencies," it states.
INPUT criticised the government for failing to commit sufficient resources to the project. “The White House has chosen not to set aside additional funding for data centre consolidation efforts,” the report claims. “Reducing costs is a major goal of consolidation; however, accomplishing it will take substantial upfront investment not only in technology, but also in many cases physical space or structures."
Other barriers to data centre consolidation include technical obstacles, unrealistic timelines and cultural challenges, the report found.
The process of consolidating the US government’s many data centres, which account for around 30% its IT spending, “will likely become a decade-long process,” said Angie Petty, principal analyst at INPUT.
The report adds, however, that the consolidation drive will accelerate the adoption of cloud computing.