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The great British public sector IT swindle

Cloud storage: is the UK public sector in a fog?It’s rumoured that the UK public sector spends some £20 bn. per year on IT. Is this money well spent? Hardly, if the latest evidence is to be believed. reports on a FoI request by open source storage supplier Nexenta into the storage buying habits of 48 local and central government departments, of which 44 responded to the request.

Public sector departments are spending an average of £236,004 annually on storage, with some departments investing as much as £1.8m.

Each terabyte (TB) of storage is costing the public sector some £2,000, with some departments spending close to £5,000 per TB and buying an average of 101 TB of storage every year. Given that Rackspace is advertising cloud storage at some £70 per TB per annum in the UK, is the UK public sector getting value for money?

The FoI request also revealed that the IT suppliers to the public sector are still pushing legacy storage solutions to their customers and EMC and that only one local council admitted to using open source storage – and that was only for a mere 100 GB (that’s smaller than the chief scribe’s home system back-up disk. Ed.).

Commenting on the results of the FoI request, Nextenta’s CEO Evan Powell stated, “It’s incredible to think just how much of British taxpayers’ money is being wasted on expensive storage solutions due to a combination of vendor lock-in and general apathy. And it is sadly ironic that open source based storage is growing massively faster outside of the UK government despite the government’s proclaimed preference for open solutions.”

Tip of the hat: Mark Taylor