The NSW State Government’s plans to consolidate its data centres will not reduce business for the channel in the mid-term, but will eventually force smaller companies to change strategy, according to Intermedium head of consulting, Kevin Noonan.
The analysis comes on the back of State Government plans to consolidate its number of data centres from around 130 to just two.
Noonan said channel players involved in supplying current data centres didn’t need to worry about their near future.
“In the short- to mid-term life goes on. Infrastructure continues to grow and infrastructure requirements continue to grow,” he said. “This is something that will take a while to emerge. Work will continue in government applications in the meantime.”
The analyst praised the Government strategy and said it was widely lauded by the industry and experts.
“The key advantage of this tender is that industry can see a long term strategic direction emerging within Government. In the past we’ve always been a little unclear but here we can start to see some clarity emerging,” Noonan said.
Business opportunities were available for the companies willing to take advantage of them post-the move into consolidated centres, he said.
“I think it’s the beginning of a good and positive story for channel partners. Because once you start to understand the size and scope of processing reports that have previously been hidden in various servers scattered around the place, it offers opportunities for doing business in a better way. This includes virtualisation and ways of renewing the infrastructure,” Noonan said.
“Infrastructure providers may find a ready ear down the track in Government for listening to new ways to provide efficiencies in infrastructure design.”
However, that wasn’t to say channel partners are entirely in the clear. Consolidation is reducing the number of companies able to partake.
“The tender itself is tightly focused on delivering its core deliverable, which is a data centre. We have to look a little bit beyond the tender to find consequential advantages for channel partners,” he said. “There is a move towards fewer contracts and that necessarily means larger players becoming involved. And that’s a move that is happening around Australia, not just in NSW.”
Noonan claimed it would be the strategic preference of government clients that would help smaller channel players in the long term.
“Governments around Australia are quite sensitive to the issues of smaller players because they are a bit of a driving force within the economy. So I would suspect in long term we need to see more an industry where consortium are more the norm, where larger players become more involved with small players in IT simply so that they can win government business,” he said.
But that’s not to say small channel companies should wait, with Noonan encouraging them to approach major players for government contracts.
“If I were a business development manager in any company, I would be thinking long and hard about what opportunities this might create for my company.”