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Northern Ireland does data centre deal



Contract with BT provides facilities for public sector to be operational by autumn 2016

Northern Ireland’s public sector is to get two new data centres under a deal between the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) and BT.

Finance Minister Arlene Foster announced £15 million, 10 year deal, with a forecast that it would deliver annual savings of about £500,000 to the public sector.

BT will manage the operation of the facilities, while the public sector customers will manage the IT facilities within.

The centres are expected to be available for operation by autumn 2016. Anchor tenants will include Enterprise Shared Services, Translink (Northern Ireland’s public transport company), and the Business Services Organisation, but the facilities will be available for all of the public sector.

A spokesperson for the DFP told UKAuthority that BT will provide the facilities at existing locations - the company runs the BTNI e-Solutions Data Centre in Belfast - and can provide services for commercial customers at the same sites provided appropriate security is in place. It has sufficient capacity for all of Northern Ireland's public sector.

More efficiency

Foster said: “The new data centres will offer a much more efficient IT system for the public sector. Replacing a wide range of smaller, less efficient facilities, the centres will produce significant savings on running costs in the region of £0.5 million each year”.

“The new data facilities will also offer high levels of security and operational stability, providing a strong and secure foundation for the IT systems used by Northern Ireland citizens engaging with the public sector.”

Image by Wikieditor243, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons




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