Tech will account for 20% of Rio Olympics budget

CIO of Rio 2016 presents key numbers of the IT operation supporting the Games
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Technology will represent a 20 percent slice of the budget for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, according to the IT boss at the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

Chief information officer Elly Resende presented key numbers to delegates at an industry event in Rio de Janeiro last week. According to Resende, there are 381 technology projects currently being carried out to stage the Games in less than three years' time.

The Brazilian technology team follows guidelines set by the IOC, which splits internal customers into nine groups that include country committees, athletes and spectators.

The IT structure required to stage the sporting events will include about 80 different systems and applications, which will be accessed from about 12,000 computers and 3,800 printing devices. About 500 servers will also be deployed for the event.

Communications-wise, some 15,000 email accounts will be created for the purpose of the Games in Rio. The Committee will be handling the provision of 16,000 mobile phones, 15,000 fixed telephone lines and 16,000 push-to-talk radios.

Updated figures on Olympics spending will be released soon, according to a Rio 2016 spokesperson. The budget of the Rio Organizing Committee is about R$ 5.2bi ($2.8bi), based on numbers from 2008 - which would mean that $560,000 would be allocated for expenses related to the core delivery areas of Games telecommunications, venue technology services, results technology services and business technology services. In addition, the infrastructure budget, bankrolled mainly by the host country, is about R$23.2bi ($11.6bi).

The London Olympic Games had an initial budget of $4.4bi and the events were delivered at a final cost of $10.4bi. 

The Master Plan

The Technology Plan for the Rio Olympics sets out the main activities, milestones and outputs for IT during the key planning phases of the next Summer Olympics. The main stages are:

Operational planning – September 2012 to July 2014

The main goal of this phase is to have an Integration Test Lab live.

Testing – August 2014 to January 2016

The key goals are:

• Technology Operation Centre (TOC) operational

• Equipment Deployment Centre (EDC) operational

• All Games Management Systems live

Readiness – February 2016 to July 2016

The main objectives for IT in Rio during the Readiness phase, which starts at the beginning of the year of the Games will be:

• All technology at the venues live

• Perform test events

• Perform technical rehearsals

• Deliver radio spectrum for the Games

Games time – August 2016 to September 2016

While the Games take place, the most important objectives will be:

• All technology at the venues live

• Results system live

Dissolution – October 2016 to July 2017

After the end of the Games, the technology team will focus on:

• Removal of technology equipment from the venues

• Technology post-Games report

• Financial report

• Technology debrief for future 2020 Olympic Organising Committee

Update 01 Nov 2013 16:31 EDT: This story has been updated to add figures for the Rio Organizing Committee's budget and the overall infrastructure budget. Technology will represent 20 percent of the Committee's budget and not the overall spending as originally stated. 

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