The municipality of Gävle gives departments responsibility for their own data

The municipality of Gävle has taken a decisive step in managing its data storage, with the aim to lower the amount of data saved, ensure that the data saved is relevant, and manage storage costs. With this new move, the municipal IT department has let up on restrictions and given the municipal departments control over their own data and the tools to reduce costs.

With 98,000 residents, Gävle is Sweden’s 16th largest municipality. As many other municipalities, Gävle faces a challenge in that it’s employees are spread across different work functions and geographic locations. Additionally, the municipality’s data growth has been high, and both the IT department and the other municipal departments have had limited insight into what the stored data actually represents.

“The main objective is to raise awareness amongst our customers – the various municipal departments – about how much data they store, what it costs and that they can influence those costs,” says Per Rosshagen, operations manager at Gävle municipality. “It is also important that the IT department doesn’t hamper the municipal departments’ work by restricting data storage for the end-users.”

 Per Rosshagen turned to Northern to discuss a solution to Gävle Municipality’s data storage issues. They agreed that it was important to create an incentive to save only relevant data, in order to slow the growth rate of user-generated data. The key was to provide correct information about the stored data, and an internal chargeback system for actual data storage usage.

With the help of Northern Storage Suite (NSS), Gävle Municipality now does a weekly scan of all its user-generated data. NSS identifies the amount of data stored per cost center, making it possible to assign costs to the relevant departments. The costs are then invoiced accordingly to approximately 40 department heads each month.

Northern Storage Suite’s user portal provides the department heads with an overview of their own and their employees’ data storage. Through management of that data, they can influence the cost of their department’s data storage. The same web-based portal also gives all of the 28,000 end users at Gävle Municipality the possibility to log in and get an overview of their own data. Using reports and lists categorizing the data by speed of growth, age, ownership and file types, the end user can easily manage their data to lower the volume and thereby the cost for their department on the following month’s invoice.

“Since we have implemented the Northern Storage Suite, we can remove the restrictions we have had with disk quotas,” says Per Rosshagen. “Now we can offer data storage at the level our customers need. They can decide themselves how much their employees are allowed to store, and manage the costs incurred without the IT-department putting limits on their operations. Now the whole organization is active in managing data storage. Each department takes responsibility for their own data, which in the long run will lead to a lower growth rate of the amount of data. Just as importantly, it will ensure that the right data is saved.”

 

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