Agencies Reach 34% of Data Center Consolidation Goals

Published: May 15, 2013

Data CenterOMB

The 24 agencies participating in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) have achieved close to 34% of their goals for the number of data center closures. However, despite this progress, it appears that agencies will not hit the 2015 target. On top of that challenge, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has yet to assess agency efforts in terms of cost savings.

The consolidation initiative set a target to close 1,253 of the 3,133 federal data centers (roughly 40%). planned data center to be closed. By the end of December 2012, agencies had closed over 400 data centers. Close to another 400 are planned to be closed by the end of September 2013, followed by another 150 before the end of 2015. Despite this progress, it looks as though they’ll fall short of the target goals by over 280 closures.

According to testimony delivered to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, OMB has not identified a consistent and repeatable method for measuring agency savings resulting from data center consolidation efforts. While agency data center consolidation will be reported to OMB as part of PortfolioStat reviews, agencies would provide information through an information resources management strategic plan, an enterprise roadmap, and a data collection channel. This shift removes the previous requirement for agencies to submit consolidation plans and it does not call out cost savings goals. PortfolioStat is expected to result in $2.5 billion in savings through 2015 but it’s unclear whether a new savings goal has been established for FDCCI.
Agencies were tasked with a goal of achieving $3 billion in savings through data center consolidation by 2015. When agencies reported expected cost savings in their 2011 consolidation plans, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that collectively agencies expected to save $2.4 billion by 2015, but they noted that the projections were incomplete and unreliable. At that time, many agencies were still completing inventories and identifying additional targets for closure. Since closing facilities are a major driver for the savings associated with these efforts, it’s likely that the full extent of savings will not be realized until after 2015. As of November 2012, savings were not being tracked but thought to be minimal, due to the upfront investments for new facilities and upgraded systems and reinvestment of savings into ongoing consolidation efforts. Currently, a timeframe has not been established for when tracking cost savings may begin.