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Avoiding data center consolidation headaches

What: “Shrinking State Data Centers: A Playbook for Enterprise Data Center Consolidation” from the National Association of State CIOs

Why: With states at different stages of data center consolidation, sharing information on potential roadblocks can smooth the transition for governments who are still in the planning stages.

Findings: In addition to cost savings, state governments are seeing more benefits to consolidating data centers across the executive branch, including improved disaster recovery and the stronger IT security resulting from the centralization of infrastructure mandates and upgrades.

While the upside of consolidation is immense, problems can develop during the transition process.  Higher than anticipated costs, failure to address specific business needs and issues with federal and state regulations can delay the consolidation process.

To create a smooth transition, NASCIO has identified 10 ways data center managers can  ease consolidation headaches:

  1. Understand the needs, requirements and potential issues before setting a target for completion or launching new initiatives.
  2. Start regular, frequent communications early with agency CIOs.
  3. Create a phased approach with reasonable steps to ensure minimal disruption and service outages.
  4. Document existing assets to identify gaps, and make decisions on assets based on the needs of agency stakeholders.
  5. Conduct a spend analysis to show where money is being spent in the process.
  6. Address cost allocation and funding issues.
  7. Implement IT Service Management standards and the IT Information Library framework.
  8. Manage agency expectations and expect surprises.
  9. Find ways to make consolidation efforts sustainable.
  10. Capture and report cost savings.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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