The UK government has announced a new joint venture to host government computer servers, projected to save £105m.
The Crown Hosting Data Centre is a new joint venture between the government and Ark Data Centres Limited, and will provide public authorities with a physical space to host their computer servers and systems that aren’t in the cloud.
The new venture is projected to save up to £105 million by utilising the government’s combined buying power for data hosting services.
Data hosting services will be available on a ‘pay for what you use’ basis, avoiding the risk of departments being locked into long-term, inflexible contracts.
Currently, individual departments either build their own centres or outsource the service as part of their own locked-in IT contracts.
“It doesn’t make sense for departments to host their servers in different ways and at different costs, and in the past Whitehall wasn’t even sure how many of these centres there were”, said Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude.
“With this new joint venture, we will save millions and be able to access the necessary commercial and technical skills in the market to create a thriving new business that will deliver better services and allow government to share in its future success”.
The new data centres will be located in secure compounds, and equipped with the latest energy efficiency technologies such as real time dynamic cooling and unique monitoring systems.
Initial customers will be the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Highways Agency, but service will be available to all departments and the wider public sector.