IBM is the preferred provider for IT infrastructure services to New Zealand's public sector District Health Boards, which operate hospitals and health services around the country.
IBM will now work with Health Benefits Ltd (HBL) and 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) on a business case for a new National Infrastructure Platform.
HBL said there are currently more than 40 datacentres spread across the DHBs, operated and managed independently. The suggested national platform will be delivered out of fewer datacentres, adopt agreed standards and policies and be managed by a single governing organisation.
A national approach will also mean DHBs can leverage the scale of the sector and potentially avoid new investment and upgrade costs, HBL said.
The business case will consider how the health sector can get better value from the estimated NZ$30 to $40 million dollars spent each year on IT infrastructure. The effort also aims to improve the security, reliability and service levels of health IT infrastructure.
The number of people affected by the changes is expected to be small, HBL said. There are just over 100 people within DHBs working in IT infrastructure services, but few are dedicated to the area.
The contract does not involve desktop or mobile systems.
HBL is a crown-owned company formed in 2010 to work with the sector to deliver improved support for health services.