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By | Paul Kunert 23rd November 2012 14:45

NHS Trust ditches in-house servers, chucks 15TB into the cloud

Mersey Care slips its storage into SCC's data centre

NHS Trust Mersey Care is trying to eke out 15 per cent cost savings by ditching its in-house server farm in favour of SCC's OptimiseCloud platform.

Mersey is the first NHS Trust in England to jump into the cloud, and is one of nine under the guidance of Informatics Merseyside, a central buying agency which signed a cloud framework agreement with SCC back in May.

Under the terms of the five-year deal, Mersey Care will transfer 15TB of data presently stored on its 90 servers to SCC's data centre from February.

SCC's UK public sector director Tracy Westall characterised the deal as a "breakthrough in the move towards greater use of cloud services in the public sector".

Some cloud suppliers reckon government is two years behind the commercial world in adoption of the cloud, with just a little more than £2m spent by public sector IT buyers under G-Cloud 1.

Government Procurement Services is trying to do a better job of dragging public sector bods to the CloudStore to browse and buy any of the 3,000 IT services on offer.

Pay-for-use IT services covered by the Informatics Merseyside framework also include patient administration services, email provision, Share Point and Business Intelligence systems.

Informatics Merseyside is forecasting financial savings of 15 per cent in moving its storage to SCC's cloud - which was the first pan-government platform to be IL2 and IL3 accredited back in August.

Mark Bostock, director of Informatics Merseyside, did not specify the cost savings but said the cloud business case was "sound" and it had a "robust framework contract with a preferred supplier".

This was essential he said, as "governance, compliance and patient safety are big challenges to overcome in healthcare IT".

But in a canned statement, Neil Smith, director of finance at Mersey Trust Care, said budget constraints was only one of the factors - security, scalability and freeing up IT resources were others. ®

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