Only in the middle of summer would I be willing (or have the time) to sift through a public sector request for proposal (RFP) document, but there were precious few details in the one about Ontario government’s proposed new data centre. That’s a shame, because it could turn out to be a model for IT managers in the private sector to follow — or a disaster to avoid.
There’s no mention of what the data centre will be used for, or what kind of software and hardware it will contain. The bidders have been announced, but only those involved in the construction of the actual building, not the IT vendors. Perhaps it’s just moving old equipment from one to another. If it’s just a facilities upgrade, let’s hope the government shows some leadership in following more environmentally-friendly design principles.
All we know for sure is that the data centre is part of the government’s ReNew Ontario program, which will see more than $30-billion public infrastructure investments made over the next five years. According to a recent news release, the data centre will be built according to the Building a Better Tomorrow framework, which “ensures public ownership of core assets such as hospitals, schools, and water and wastewater facilities.” This is interesting, because everyday people probably don’t think of public sector data centres as they do those other facilities today. Maybe as they grow more savvy about what the data centre does at work, they’ll expect more from how their governments run them, too.