The council said the cloud will provide a low-cost, accessible and secure platform across Sunderland.
IBM will plan, design, provision and implement the cloud by incorporating existing hardware and software and will be hosted in Sunderland's own datacentres.
IBM will also provide network, storage and server hardware. IBM will also provide server virtualisation technology and integrated management and monitoring facilities. To support operations IBM will provide business continuity, back-up and disaster recovery services. Users will be provided with a standardised desktop.
“The cloud is a cornerstone of our Economic Masterplan," said councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council. "The new infrastructure will lay the foundations of a Smarter Sunderland, one that ensures the city is internationally recognised as a model for its operations and a prime location for inward investment.”
The council sees the cloud implementation as the foundation for deeper transformation, supporting online self-service, fraud detection and process optimisation. It will also be used to enable the adoption of innovative delivery models. For example, it could allow a staff "bring your own computer" policy, which has been seen to increase flexibility and reduce costs.
Dave Smith, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “IBM's vision for Smarter Cities resonated very well with our own plans for Sunderland.