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March 19, 2015

Gov’t aligns storage approach with Crown Hosting Data Centres

Crown Hosting Data Centres aims to provide a cross-government approach on physical storage.

By Alexander Sword

The Government has launched a new joint venture to provide public bodies with a space to host their physical infrastructure.

The initiative, named Crown Hosting Data Centres, will be run in collaboration with Ark Data Centres Limited.

It aims to reduce cost inefficiencies by creating a cross-government approach to buying data hosting services, with savings projected at £105 million.

Previously, departments have had to either build their own data centres or outsource the service as part of an IT contract.

The initial customers of the service will include the Home Office and Highways Agency, as well as the Department for Work and Pensions, which in 2013 wrote off £34 million on its failed IT programme for Universal Credit.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude commented: "As part of this government’s long term economic plan, we’re determined to utilise our unique buying power and become a more intelligent customer. 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.

"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."

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Steve Hall, CEO at Crown Hosting Data Centres, added: "The joint venture company will simplify the data centre services selection process in government and further drive the unbundling of large legacy contracts.

"It provides publicly-funded, mandated and regulated organisations with a pre-approved contract that leverages the buying power of the whole of government for the fastest, simplest access to secure data centre services."

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