US government to close 800 data centers by 2015

By on July 20, 2011, 7:15 PM

The US government will reportedly undertake various measures to drastically reduce its IT spending, including the closure of 40% of its computer centers by 2015, the NY Times reports. The US federal government has the world's largest IT budget at roughly $80 billion a year, and according to White House chief information officer Vivek Kundra, much of that cash is ill spent.

Kundra noted that the nation's 2,000 data centers utilize only 27% of their potential computing power and 40% of their overall storage capacity. By shutting 800 of those centers, analysts believe the move will save billions of dollars a year along with clearing approximately fourteen football fields worth of real estate.

Although data centers generally don't require a large staff to keep the gears oiled, it's estimated that tens of thousands of jobs will be eliminated over the next four years. The closures will begin this year with 195 centers targeted for execution by the end of 2011, followed by another 178 in 2012. The centers vary in size from 1,000 to 195,000 square feet.

Besides simply saving cash, the move will consolidate the government's IT infrastructure. For example, Kundra notes that across various US agencies, hundreds of different programs are used for financial accounting and human resources. "Redundant systems and applications sprouted like weeds," he said.

"We need to shift resources away from duplicative systems and use them to improve the citizen experience." To accomplish this, the government will rely on internal and third party cloud computing platforms.




User Comments: 8

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aj_the_kidd said:

"tens of thousands of jobs will be eliminated over the next four years" ouch thats allot, then again so is "$80 billion a year". Closing 40% of computer centres is a pretty big number, makes you wonder how and why it got so big in the first place. I would hope some higher ups get fired as well for letting this happen

Guest said:

until then they will use them:)

Mindwraith said:

"2,000 data centers utilize only 27% of their potential computing power and 40% of their overall storage capacity"

and people wonder why the US is bankrupt now?

Coodu Coodu said:

"2,000 data centers utilize only 27% of their potential computing power and 40% of their overall storage capacity"

and people wonder why the US is bankrupt now?

Totally, that's some crazy statistics right there. Would like to see it all set up actually, I get giddy over such things like a true nerd.

Guest said:

If you had to deal with government procurement, you can understand how ewe got to this point.

The rules are meant to eliminate fraud and create a fair playing field.

One guy in the governemnt told me years ago, that if the government made it easier for us to

get new stuff and innovate, we might have some shady deals and some fraud, but would probably save tons of money anyway.

I don't know how much has changed, but in the past to replace old technology with newer stuff and from a different provider took an act of God.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Mindwraith said:

"2,000 data centers utilize only 27% of their potential computing power and 40% of their overall storage capacity"

and people wonder why the US is bankrupt now?

Well... we're not quiite bankrupt (yet), but this sort of thing is a big problem. There was a report recently on govt waste and 'fragmentation' was a problem in a large number of areas. It also cited 56 programs across 20 agencies dealing with financial literacy and a number of other duplicated items. I'm actually surprised the govt functions at all when I read stuff like this.

As sad as the waste is, it's good they're doing something about it instead of just discarding the report.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

Unfortunately this means that the IT field will be even more heavily saturated. Bad news for the job market, again.

Guest said:

If you are actually good at what you do why worry. Have you ever worked with gov IT...

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