The state's plan to reduce the number from 36 to between two and four follows deal that will shift 35,000 employees to Microsoft Business Productivity Online.
Minnesota has become the latest regional government to follow the lead of the federal government and mandate data-center consolidation.
The state's CIO, Gopal Khanna, and state Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson unveiled a plan this week to reduce more than 36 state data centers to between two and four in the next five years, according to a press statement.
The move is the latest in the outgoing CIO's efforts to enact changes to IT operations before he leaves his post. Khanna has resigned, effective in December.
Minnesota recently signed a deal with Microsoft to move about 35,000 executive branch employees to the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) to provide Web-accessed e-mail, SharePoint collaboration, instant messaging and video conferencing capabilities.
Minnesota also joins several other state and local governments -- including Iowa and the City of New York -- in planning to use consolidation as a way to cut costs and streamline IT operations.
Gopal and Hanson issued the consolidation directive just before putting out a request for proposals (RFP) looking for a secure, industry-standard, third-party data-center service, according to a press statement.
Within two years, the state plans to house its most critical systems -- or about 40 percent of combined executive-branch business applications -- in the center. Officials said they plan to move the rest of the state's IT systems to several updated facilities within the next five years.
The decision to consolidate data centers came after a 2008 independent study of the state's data centers found that none met industry standards, according to the state. Moreover, the evaluation found that the risk of data failure and loss was high with many of the state's data centers.
In addition to cutting costs and streamlining IT operations, officials also hope its consolidation plan will reduce risks and improve the security of IT systems.
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email StrategyCost, time, and risk. It's the demand trifecta vying for the attention of both technology professionals and attorneys charged with balancing the expectations of their clients and business units with the hard reality of the current financial and regulatory climate. Sometimes, organizations assume high levels of risk as a result of their inability to meet the costs involved in data protection. In other instances, it's time that's of the essence, as with a data breach.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."