UK planning a broad cost-saving move to cloud platforms

A plan is being circulated within the U.K. to move its government IT services onto a cloud platform based on open source software. The selling point is the potential for £3.2 billion a year savings (US $5.2 billion). To achieve the savings, the government would need to build ten to twelve data centers, each costing around £250 million (US $400 million).

The new plan, according to The Guardian, would replace an environment based on Microsoft Windows and Office, which is now supported by more than 500 data centers that are spread around the U.K., serving local governments, law enforcement and local offices.

The strategy would involve several years of planning. By 2015, if the plan is adopted, about 80 percent of the central government desktops would plug into a cloudy “shared utility service.”

Planners emphasized that security would be a top priority. The strategy would not affect security services such as MI5 or MI6.

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