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.