New Zealand health boards to move to IBM cloud

New platform expected to improve reliability following a number of outages over the past two years

Up to 20 district health boards across New Zealand will roll out cloud infrastructure, which is expected to slash IT infrastructure costs across the group by $23.9 million over the next 10 years.

The boards are rolling out a National Infrastructure Platform (NIP), which will host applications and systems they use each day to deliver healthcare services to citizens. The move to the new platform – based on cloud services provided by IBM – will start in mid-2015 and is expected to take three years.

IBM and crown company, Health Benefits Limited (HBL) announced the agreement, with individual health boards now signing contracts to use the platform.

Already, 15 of New Zealand’s 20 district health boards have conditionally approved the business case and HBL is making good progress with the other five, IBM said on Tuesday. Four boards – Auckland, Counties Manukau, Northland, and Waitemata – have signed contracts to use the NIP.

The program will transition the health boards from their 40 data centres – varying in size, age, quality and adherence to standards – to two IBM-managed data centres with higher security classifications. These data centres are in Auckland and Christchurch.

The IBM solution will aggregate each board into a single infrastructure-as-a-service, which is aligned to the New Zealand government’s ICT strategy and action plan to deliver technology-led savings of $100 million by 2017.

Health boards will purchase their IT services on demand and will only pay for what they need without the burden of maintaining and owning their own infrastructure.

Graeme Osborne, director of the national health IT board, said the organisation has responded to a number of IT outages at the health boards over the past two years, which had an immediate impact on the delivery of health services.

“The improved resilience and strengthened disaster recovery capabilities of NIP will reduce the risk of IT outages affecting the efficient operation of health services,” said Osborne.

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Tags National Infrastructure Platformgraeme osborneNew Zealand health boardsdistrict health boardsHealth Benefits limited

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