Government Agencies Partner to Address State’s Data Center Needs

Last month, Governor David Ige and University of Hawaii (UH) President David Lassner announced a partnership that will reduce risks to the state’s information technology (IT) systems while saving valuable taxpayer dollars.

The terms of a colocation agreement between the UH Information and Technology Center and the state Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) allows for IT systems currently housed at the state’s primary data center in the Kalanimoku Building downtown to begin moving to the UH IT Center, where critical applications will be stored in a safe, secure environment.

“By leveraging the UH data center, we are able to address some of our most critical systems issues, while reducing duplicative spending, including the costs associated with designing, building, maintaining, powering and staffing an entirely new data center. This agreement represents an annual cost avoidance that’s easily in the millions,” said state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy.

By storing the state data at UH, it will be fully backed up in a facility outside the tsunami inundation zone, which was not the case in the old location. This move will ensure resilient backup systems are in place and will reduce the state’s risk of losing critical state services if a major disaster were to occur.

According to ETS, physical security, access and reliability were key factors in identifying the UH IT center as a viable site to house state data. In addition, UH has agreed to put in place processes and procedures to meet other state departments’ compliance obligations, such as those required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Justice Information Services and personally identifiable information standards.

State agencies and departments working together to find shared solutions using existing physical, as well as digital resources, is a good example of the type of intergovernmental cooperation that will be crucial to the success of the transformation.

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