Canadian Government To Close 280 Data Centers

On Thursday the Government of Canada announced measures to streamline and identify savings in Information Technology (IT) through Shared Services Canada, which includes reducing the number of data centers from 300 today to less than 20.

Aimed at reducing waste and improving service, the government will consolidate more than 100 different email systems to just one, reduce the number of data centers to fewer than 20, and streamline networks within and between government departments.  The new Shared Services Canada entity will be responsible for data center and network services as well as email.  Resources across 44 IT departments and agencies providing these services today will transfer to Shared Services Canada.  The President of the new entity was also appointed by the Prime Minister today, and will be leading this consolidation and transformation initiative.

Finding Savings for Taxpayers

“The top priority of our Government is ensuring that our economy remains strong while we continue on our plan to return to balanced budgets,” said the Hon. Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, Tony Clement. “This is why we are squarely focused on finding savings for taxpayers and implementing the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.”

In the 300-plus data centers across the country, the Canadian government has some facilities with excess computing capacity and others that are straining to meet demand. In a spring 2010 report, the Auditor General noted that many IT systems are “supported by old infrastructure and are at risk of breaking down. A breakdown would have wide and severe consequences—at worst, the government could no longer conduct its business and deliver services to Canadians.” Shared Services Canada will also reduce the number of networks that connect to data centres, and streamline networks in Government buildings.

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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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  1. MJG

    even with a proven model. the scope of this project is overwhelming. this initiative is so big, it is almost guarenteed to fail. integrating one organziation into another is hard enough; integrating 44 separate federal organizations into 'one' core and than expecting to be able to provide the same level of service during the year(s) of integration is impossible at best. but hey, tony clement would know this if he knew anything about datacentres besides what he has seen on tours. i'm all for consoldation but this plan stinks.

  2. MB

    I just wonder if these individual politicians are willing to stand by their comments of saving the taxpayers money to the tune that if they do not save the amount that they say that they will be forced to do jail time for misleading the Canadian taxpayer.. No I guess not. As taxpayers, we have seen what happens when the government takes unilateral action without a cohesive and comprehensive plan.. Gun Registry ring a bell with anyone? What are we at now... 1.x billion and counting. The government of Canada does not know when to cry, "Uncle", and stop what they are doing. Although we needed a strong federal government during this time, I question their timing for this announcment. I sincerly doubt that this announcement would have been made had Mr. Harper got into power with a minority. I agree with MJG.. the task at hand is doomed to fail or not provide any level of service to the community that they have become used to. I stand here to tell the Candian taxpayer that this initiative will not save us any money and in fact it will be, "just another gun registry fisaco".

  3. Publicservant

    Maybe they should begin with finding all the money spent by mr. Clement for the G8 and the g20 in his own Town where he was elected... Couple of millions Thatcher coule easily be return in our pocket. It's funny how there saying that they planned for everything but not a single public servant who take care of all these services was consulted... They say they Will save 100 millions dollard but there ont talking about all the money requiered to centralise all these datacenter in one place. Make no mistake they will always need people to operate government it department but instead of paying public servants they Will pay external contractor like CGI 4 Time what