While consolidation sounds great on the surface - it's supposed to save money and improve efficiency after all - it can be an absolute nightmare from a service management perspective. The problem, of course, is the need to migrate data to new, highly-virtualized environments. This requires robust change management architectures, something that not every government IT department has had in place in the past.
The federal government, like sectors such as healthcare, has long been relatively conservative about integrating IT systems into day-to-day processes. The reasoning is simple - tight budgets and a need to sustain constant critical operations leads to a situation in which using any kind of unproven technology is not an option. Because of this, many federal agencies had fallen behind the IT curve. The data center consolidation project is aimed at that problem and could help organizations take full advantage of virtualization, cloud computing and IT service models.
However, getting to this end result requires organizations to modernize their IT architectures almost overnight. While the consolidation plan has an extended timeline, the project demands that agencies are continually making progress. This comes out in terms of planning for the change, installing systems to support the migration and actually completing the consolidation process.