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Steve O'Keeffe


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Posted: 8/23/2012 - 7 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

FDCCI:  The Numbers Game

Recent GAO report on FDCCI surfaces new stats - and gives long odds on the program achieving real savings. FDCCI is the program that cried wolf. Who isn’t tired of hearing how many data centers we have? How much we can save? How much we have saved?
 
But, here’s the beauty of it. Don’t like the numbers? Never fear. Wait a week or two - they’ll change again.
 
Change, Change, Change
Here’s the latest from GAO’s report. Almost 2,900 data centers. Last report from OMB it was 2,800. Plan to close 1,186 by 2015 - up from 106 per OMB’s last testimony. That leaves us with just 1,714. However will we make do? Here’s the bottom line, GAO tells us Feds believe they can save $2.4 billion through data center consolidation - optimistic, but short of OMB’s $3 billion or $5 billion savings estimates.
 
Black Eye for OMB and GSA
If I’m OMB and GSA - I’m more than a little red faced over this report. You see, GAO generated these numbers by reviewing agencies’ plans and talking with the experts in the field. This is a look under the covers at what’s really going on inside FDCCI - and, it ain’t pretty.
 
But, let’s cut beneath the counting and see what GAO says about agencies reporting against OMB guidelines. To net it out - or consolidate if you will - GAO’s report says agencies are thumbing their noses at OMB. They’re failing to report, they’re missing deadlines, and they’re rejecting OMB’s standardized cost model.
 
Of 24 agencies, just three submitted complete data center inventories. Only one submitted a complete plan. Thirteen did not provide a full master program schedule for consolidation. Twenty one did not fully report their expected savings.
 
Not What, But Why?
The question here is not what are agencies doing, but rather why are they doing it - or not doing it as the case may be?
 
Here’s the rub. While I have not seen OMB’s cost model, every agency data center lead I’ve talked to has said it is totally divorced from reality. And, I’ve spoken to a lot of them. Why doesn’t OMB publish it so we can all take a look? Where’s open government when you need it?
 
Why are agencies failing to make real progress in consolidating data centers? Well, that’s because it costs money to do this - and there is none. The deadlines are not realistic. The savings that were sold to Capitol Hill are not attainable - especially if there is no capital investment fund.
 
The parting shot in GAO’s executive summary speaks volumes.
 
“In light of these successes and challenges, it is important for OMB to continue to provide leadership and guidance, such as - as GAO previously recommended - using the consolidation task force to monitor agencies’ consolidation efforts.”
 
Maybe GSA and OMB should attend the next Data Center Exchange meeting? The breakfast on September 13 brings together Federal data center execs to talk about developing a government-wide data center marketplace. An open platform for agencies to buy and sell data center space - that actually might save some money.

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