BT launches data centre for public sector in £15m deal
Telecoms giant BT has opened a new data centre in Belfast to house public sector IT services in a move that is expected to save around £500,000 a year.
Anchor tenants at the centre at BT Tower will include NI Water and Translink. BT signed a £15m deal in December last year with the Department of Finance to host data relating to the Civil Service, as well as most of the remainder of the public sector in Northern Ireland.
BT will manage operations including business continuity, while the public sector will continue to manage the IT systems inside.
The deal, which it is hoped will improve public sector efficiency, is worth £15m over 10 years.
Paul Murnaghan, regional director for BT Business in Northern Ireland, said: "We are delighted to welcome the minister to BT today to officially open these new public sector shared service data centre facilities."
He added that BT was "proud" to be entrusted with hosting public sector data for the next 10 years - an arrangement which he said would help cut costs. "These cutting-edge facilities will significantly reduce costs and provide enhanced services to benefit these organisations," Mr Murnaghan explained.
Phase one of the new centre was opened yesterday by Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir, who said: "I am keen to see change in the public sector which not only saves the public purse, but also helps us ensure that the public sector is at the cutting edge of the latest technology, driving forward efficiency.
"These very impressive new data centres will centralise a range of smaller service teams under one roof.
"The data centres will produce significant savings on running costs -in the region of £500,000 each year - and annual savings are projected to grow to around £7.5m for the public sector over the course of the next decade."
"The new data facilities will provide a welcome boost towards our efforts and also offer high levels of security and operational stability."