General Motors Co. is investing $546 million in two new Michigan data centers aimed at getting new vehicle designs and technologies to consumers faster, resulting to a boost in the carmaker’s bottom line. GM unveiled on May 13, 2013, a $288-million data center in the Detroit suburb of Warren, which went online in January. GM will spend $258 million to build a companion center at its vehicle proving grounds in Milford, Michigan.
Construction of the companion center will start summer. According to GM officials, the data centers will help engineers identify and solve problems more quickly than when it outsourced around 90 percent of its information technology (IT) needs. GM chief executive Dan Akerson noted that they had around six key suppliers of IT services with each of them having their “own little control center,” and the carmaker could not see anymore what was going on in its network.
He said that new data centers allow GM to look into its plants and production, “where supply chain is a problem or an asset." GM targets to bring 90 percent of its IT work back in the next five years. The Milford center is scheduled to be operational by 2015, when GM will have trimmed its IT facilities to two from the current 23.
GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott remarked that several of the carmaker’s rivals outsource around one-third of their IT functions, noting that GM was the most outsourced. Mott said GM aims to become least outsourced carmaker. GM noted that since the Milford center will be just 40 miles from its Warren site, each could serve as a backup if the other crashes due to technical problems.