Scotland's Digital Future: Report on the current landscape for Data Hosting and Data Centres in the Scottish Public Sector

This report sets out the findings of a review of the public sector data centre landscape. The landscape review was the first phase of the project to deliver the data hosting and data centre strategy published in April 2014. The findings in this report ref

Annex C - data centre advisory group.

Scottish Government Data Centre Advisory Group

Terms of Reference and Strategic Objectives


The strategy Scotland's Digital Future: Delivery of Public Services has under its principles a number of actions to deliver on collaboration and value for money. One of the actions sets an objective to develop a strategy on a National approach to data management and storage which will aim to consolidate and reuse the world-class data centres available in the public and private sectors across Scotland. In addition to the deliverables described in the National strategy the project will consider technology trends and aim to future proof the public sector data storage requirements based on our ambitions to exploit and deploy new technology across the public sector. These actions are being progressed within the data centre project.

Scottish Government, in leading the delivery of this project wishes wide participation and collaboration in order to access the most up to date knowledge and experience available. One of the methods that we use to do this is by running advisory groups, which enable us to seek expert and informed opinion and advice from individuals or organisations involved in the specific subject.

Governance structure

Governance structure

The project sits within the DPS Programme Office and the Project Manager will be responsible for steering the Project and the SRO will be responsible for reporting progress and issues to the Programme Board for National Projects. The programme board as part of a wider National programme of projects will engage with the National DPS Strategy Assurance Board to provide assurance to fulfil their sponsorship role.

Role Assigned responsibility
Project Support DPS Programme Office
Project Manager Jim Gordon
Cross Public sector & Industry Advisory Group (specific to data centres) ICT Industry specialists and Sectoral representatives to be appointed by DPS Strategy Assurance Board.
SRO Julie Kane
Overall Programme Lead Jane Morgan
Programme Board for National Projects Board chaired by Mike Neilson, Director Digital, Scottish Government
DPS Strategy Assurance Board Board chaired by DG Governance & Communities

The key outputs that will be delivered by the data centre project are:

  • A survey to provide the evidence base for a set of recommendations
  • A report on the current landscape including commonality, challenges and opportunities
  • An analysis of future trends and the model options to meet the requirements for the delivery of public services in the future
  • The strategic case for change setting out evidenced based options and recommendations to support delivery of national and sectoral implementation where appropriate

Purpose of the Advisory Group

The Group's main role is to draw on their expertise to provide independent advice and to provide feedback on the strategic focus of the development of the data centre strategy and advise how the Scottish Public sector can achieve:

  • efficient and effective data hosting and storage including:
  • best use of the current data centre estate
  • any requirement for new facilities
  • reduction in energy, carbon and other environmental impacts
  • appropriate use of cloud based services
  • appropriate use of Business Process Outsourcing services
  • requirements for supporting management infrastructure, tools and processes
  • future proofing against developing technology and business requirements

The Advisory Group will work in support of the objectives of the data centre project by:

  • advising on the creation of a data centre technology roadmap (looking at the next year, 3-5 years and 7-10 years) to improve the current public sector data centre arrangements by providing a mechanism to help forecast technology developments and provide a framework to help the public sector future proofs its requirements
  • providing advice about how data centres and connectivity between them can achieve a performance that can serve the workforce and the customer effectively
  • advising on the standards for any existing and future data centres that host public sector data and services
  • providing advice on how to standardise and implement a measurement for data centre energy consumption
  • provide advice on improvements to DC efficiency and mitigating environmental impact. Recommending where efficiency savings, effectiveness improvements and environmental benefits can be adopted in data centres
  • assisting with any engagement of stakeholders to understand their requirements and approach to data management including their future needs in line with the adoption of new technology such as cloud computing
  • providing advice on security strategies, standards and appropriate safeguards for the management of data
  • considering and advising on the implications of proposed changes that the strategy may raise including portability of infrastructure and services between hosting options and suitable transition approaches
  • proactively identifying other areas that may contribute to the success of the project
  • sharing and publicising the exchange of information, knowledge and expertise


The group will be made up of representatives from industry and the public sector who have knowledge of the current public sector data centre scene and who have an interest in how the future of data storage and hosting services are efficiently delivered.

Current membership

Various reps. from ICT industry
Rep. from Central Government
Rep. from Local Government
Rep. from HE/ FE
Rep. from NHS
Rep. from Police Services Scotland
Rep. from Fire Services Scotland
Scottish Government


Members are to contribute to the smooth running of the data centre project by acting mainly as a virtual group, with occasional physical meetings where appropriate.

Members are to contribute to the smooth running of the data centre project by:

  • entering into constructive debate and being co-operative and openly discussing any barriers or challenges to be overcome in fulfilling the purpose and delivering the objectives of the project,
  • undertaking actions assigned wholeheartedly and in a timely manner


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