Federal Government Plans 40% Reduction in Data Centers by 2015

Federal CIO Vivek Kundrarecently unveiled plans to drastically reduce the number of data centers that the federal government currently uses, planning to drop more than 800 data centers from the current total of close to 2100. Kundra plans to trim those excess data centers from the federal IT budget by 2015, and will likely rely on cloud computing, virtualization, and outsourcing to the private sector to meet the 2015 deadline.

Kundra's goal of closing 800 data centers is just part of a "25 point implementation plan to reform federal information technology management" that was revealed last week. (Kundra's report is also available for download in PDF format.)

A few more highlights of Kundra's plan include the following, listed on page 4 of his presentation:

  • Turnaround or terminate at least one-third of underperforming projects within the next 18 months
  • Shift to “Cloud First” policy; require each agency to identify 3 “must move” systems within 3 months and move 1 to the cloud within 12 months
  • Only approve funding of major programs that:
    • Have a dedicated program manager and a fully staffed integrated program team
    • Use a modular approach with customer-facing functionality delivered every 6 months
    • Use specialized IT acquisition professionals
  • Work with Congress to consolidate commodity IT funding under Agency CIOs and develop flexible budget models that align with modular development
  • Launch an interactive, online platform for agency-industry pre-RFP collaboration

So what's your take? Is this move to the cloud by the government long overdue? Or do you see challenges for the Feds ahead?

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