The state of Oklahoma and Arkansas are sharing data centers to improve disaster recovery capabilities.

In an interview, Bo Reese, CIO of the state of Oklahoma, and Yessica Jones, CTO of the state of Arkansas, said the partnership began last year at a conference held by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers last year, and they claim it has been successful, says a news report.

“In our region of the United States, natural disasters are certainly something we have to be prepared [for],” Reese says. He adds that the number of natural disasters that threaten to disrupt the state’s critical IT systems has grown in recent years as the region now contends with tornados, ice storms, wildfires and earthquakes, says the news report. 

The partnership was viewed as a financial decision, Reese says: “In Oklahoma we always talked about, ‘How do we cover our disaster recovery needs better within our financial constraints?’” he says.

According to the report, both Reese and Jones noted getting support from their governor's offices was a relatively smooth process after the proposition was put forth. “I think it started with our legal departments, really,” Jones says. “They took off and did the legal component and then our technical teams, they did virtual tours.”  Reese and Jones say they’ve been enjoying the benefits of improved disaster recovery at minimal cost ever since.