Thursday, July 18, 2024

Multi-cloud lifts Auckland Council

Auckland Council has announced $12.8 million in IT cost savings through the development of its own multi-cloud data centre platform, and says there are more savings to come.

Council’s director of IT, Mark Denvir (pictured), reported the success to the Value for Money committee recently.

Council ICT has reduced the cost of its infrastructure by moving data processing and storage from onsite servers to outsourced data centres, commonly known as the ‘cloud’. The team believed a cloud solution could reduce operating costs whilst continuing to meet the councils need for secure and resilient data systems, he said.

“This positions the council to become more agile and adaptable. This system can easily scale and flex to the changing needs of Tamaki Makaurau, all whilst continuing to drive costs down. The new system is more resilient to the omnipresent threat of cyber compromise, giving Aucklanders increased confidence in the council’s data security.

“After auditing our own practice we knew we needed a more efficient and cost effective solution to data storage for the council. The reality was we couldn’t find what we needed on the market so we took a punt and designed our own version of cloud infrastructure.”

“The multi-cloud we designed means we can contribute savings back to the organisation but it also enables our IT capacity to grow as Auckland grows. As Auckland grows our data capture has to increase and that’s an increased cost. In the multi cloud we are able to adapt to that growth,” said Mr Denvir.

He said the design process had not been without obstacles, with lockdowns prolonging final migrations and cyber threats continuing to escalate, which meant maintaining secure data infrastructure had to be the priority.

The IT team has also been able to sell the innovation to other entities, generating revenue for the council in the process.

“I am really proud of the team who have been working constantly on this for a number of years. When the market follows what you have done, it is a satisfying reminder that you’ve designed something pretty cool,” said Mr Denvir.

“This is not a one-off saving. The multi-cloud platform will continue to deliver more efficiencies through increased flexibility, data centre processing and storage capacity at a lower cost. We expect additional savings to be realised as long-term backups can be deleted in the next financial year.”

Value for Money Committee Chair, Desley Simpson says the ICT multi-cloud migration programme is just one of the enduring savings the council has achieved since intensifying its commitment to value for money and striving to become a leaner and more efficient organisation.

“This is an impressive achievement for our team. To build cloud infrastructure which better stores our data, enables a $12.8 million saving and increases our data security, and then go on to sell this to others to create long term income and further savings opportunities, deserves praise of the highest order.”

“This is evidence that yet another part of the council is committed to delivering value for money for Aucklanders. Mark and his team saw an opportunity to create more efficiency and worked tirelessly to make it happen,” said Ms Simpson.

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