Reseller News

Budget cuts loom over Auckland Council ICT

Consultations come after Auckland Council completes major software consolidation and hybrid cloud projects
  • Rob O'Neill (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 19 June, 2020 07:09
Mark Denvir (Auckland Council)

Mark Denvir (Auckland Council)

Auckland Council is flagging delays of non-critical information and communication technology initiatives as one potential part of its drive to save $32 million in in capital investment.

The council is currently consulting on two "Emergency Budget" scenarios and rates settings which will determine how deep the cuts actually go.

In response to Reseller News' queries about the potential effect on ICT projects, operations and staffing, director of ICT Mark Denvir said as the Emergency Budget was out for consultations, no decisions could be made until the process was fully completed. 

Details of any changes to projects would be considered once the budget had been set.

"ICT services were reviewed last year and changes made at that time, including to staffing," he said. 

"This has enabled us to respond to current and on-going demands, particularly in response to a leaner Auckland Council operating model due to COVID-19."

Auckland Council has said COVID-19 and the expected economic slowdown would have a significant adverse impact on revenue.

$60 million would be lost from Auckland International Airport dividends while revenue from Ports of Auckland was also expected to be $65 million less than previously planned.

Auckland Council recently transformed its ICT operations by rolling out hybrid-cloud solutions to replace its existing infrastructure as a service deal with Spark-owned Revera.

The project had a total capital budget of $10.7 million, head of ICT operations Mike Brothers told Reseller News last August.

Brothers said Revera, now CCL, was still a partner on the project providing support and the vast majority of the new hardware would be deployed into Spark's datacentre in Takanini.

When Auckland Council and its council controlled organisations were formed in 2010, it inherited a long list of IT systems, with varying degrees of sophistication and effectiveness.

It embarked on a significant consolidation, standardising on SAP for most administrative functions in a protracted project called NewCore.

“A multicloud-based system will see us moving from a collection of individual servers that are dependent on suppliers and hardware maintenance to keep going, to a more sophisticated way of managing our network,” Denvir said last June.

Of its $10.7 million multi-cloud capital budget, $3.7 million was spent on servers and storage from HPE and $2.2 million on software from VMware.

Data virtualisation cost $3 million with $1.4 million going on software from Actifio and a further $1.6 million on hardware from HPE.

Around $500,000 was to be spent on Windows server software, the main operating system, which was to be augmented by a few Linux servers.

Brothers said the council had always been unable to afford two physical datacentres so would use some public cloud for business continuity.