According to reporting at Government Computer News, lack of upfront funding and budget woes could stymie federal agency efforts to reduce the number of data centers in operation across government. Analysis from government market reporting firm Input report on data center consolidation says that the changes needed to produce a large-scale reduction in any federal agency’s real estate footprint and other physical structure changes will take a lot of money and time.
Input's Assessment of the 2010 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative examines trends and technologies related to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), which seeks to reduce federal data center infrastructure expenses. Such expenses comprise an average of 30 percent of government-wide IT spending and also pose a significant impact on energy consumption, notes the report.
“Unfunded mandates have been cited as the downfall of the 1995 federal data center consolidation initiative, and this time around the White House has again chosen not to set aside additional funding for data center consolidation efforts,” the report adds. “Reducing costs is a major goal of consolidation; however, accomplishing it will take substantial upfront investment not only in technology, but also in many cases physical space or structures."
The report contends that agencies face a number of other challenges as they approach data center consolidation, including technical obstacles, unrealistic timelines, and cultural and political factors. As a result, data center consolidation could take a decade for agencies to achieve, says Input.
"Two-thirds of the data center managers and CIO office executives within federal agencies interviewed by Input said a lack of up-front funding is the biggest obstacle they face," says Angie Petty, principal analyst with Input's Federal Industry Analysis program and co-author of the report. "That lack of funding limits the amount of things agency IT managers can do, so agencies are using technology refresh cycles to get around that obstacle."