Pennsylvania Outsourcing State Data Centers

Filed under: Management,News,Outsourcing |

By NOELLE KNELL, Government Technology— Pennsylvania is outsourcing management of the state’s data centers.

On 30 November 2012, Pennsylvania issued a request for proposal seeking a single contractor to manage state data centers.

Pennsylvania state capitol: The state is outsourcing its data centers.

Pennsylvania state capitol: The state is outsourcing its data centers.

According to the RFP, the state has been consolidating its data center facilities from six down to two during the past several years.

Unisys now manages one state data center. State workers staff the other.

The contract for the existing privately managed data center is up at the end of 2014.

IT Outsourcing Startegy

The move toward outsourcing the data center aligns with the state’s information technology consolidation strategy, established by a 2007 executive order. The directive laid out plans to consolidate Pennsylvania’s $1 billion information technology portfolio.

George White, the state’s chief information officer, issued an IT Strategic Plan earlier this year to guide state technology policy through 2015.

The document outlined the need for new approaches to IT management, including outsourcing.

“New models are emerging, and the commonwealth needs to seriously consider allowing private entities to own, provide and regularly upgrade its core IT systems,” the report says.

At an industry conference earlier this year, White mentioned that the state was looking at different data center outsourcing models in an effort to cut costs, and wanted to cast a wide net.

White told Government Technology via email that he is unable to comment further now that the RFP has been issued.

Security provisions including firewalls, intrusion detection devices and virus detection must also be outlined, along with plans for disaster recovery and business continuity.

This is not the state’s first foray into outsourcing. Pennsylvania’s initial efforts to manage its disparate IT environment date back to 1997. And in 2009, former state CIO Brenda Orth detailed the path undertaken by officials to outsource consolidation and shared services.

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