Not even the Queen is immune from IT budget cuts

According to the latest report on Royal spending from the Keeper of the Privy Purse, the Queen’s IT budget was slashed by 50% last year, down from £400,000 in 2008 to £200,000 last year.

Apparently one of last year’s IT priorities was the implementation of “a system to enable the real time back-up of all data to the Household’s Business Continuity site”.

Where does one keep one’s backup site, Downtime wonders? In the east wing of the Palace? Perhaps the servant’s quarters in remote Balmoral?

Other IT details contained in the Royal household’s latest annual report reveal the connected nature of today’s Royal family.

“Buckingham Palace is linked to other Royal palaces via private wires and fibre optic links and during the year additional links and software upgrades were implemented for resilience and a full disaster recovery test was carried out,” says the report.

And not to be left out of the latest trends, QE2 has gone QE2.0:

“The Monarchy website and web presence has been continually developed since the relaunch of in February 2009 to keep up with new media trends and technological advances,” says the report.

“The website attracts up to 300,000 visitors a week at peak times. Social Media is becoming an increasingly important medium for disseminating assets and information about the work of the Royal Family. In June 2009 a British Monarchy Twitter account was launched which now has over 40,000 followers.”

And it looks like a busy year ahead for the Queen’s IT team, whose priorities in 2010 will include “looking at various business processes within the Household with the aim of automating as much as possible and ensuring that these processes can cope with the increased workloads expected in association with the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.”

Downtime is sure that one’s IT manager is in for a busy, if budget-restricted, year ahead.