recommended reading

Shared services require a solid business case, IT leaders say

The key to developing a successful shared services strategy is figuring out where pooling resources can bring the greatest benefit and making a solid business case for it, government information technology leaders said Thursday.

If executives aim too high, the IT leaders said, they'll be stymied by agencies and divisions that insist their financial or human resources systems have too many quirks to be integrated into a larger system.

"Our biggest problem isn't technical, it's cultural," said Cheryl Rogers, director of the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Information Technology Optimization. "How do we get people to trust that centralized delivery models will meet their service needs?"

Rogers was speaking during a panel discussion sponsored by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council, or ACT-IAC, an organization that includes government officials and IT industry professionals.

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has made shared services a hallmark of his tenure. By combining similar systems within or across agencies, VanRoekel has said, government can save money on new systems and cut down on proprietary architectures.

VanRoekel has ordered agencies to come up with plans to move two agency-specific systems to shared interagency platforms by the end of 2012 and plans to release a governmentwide shared services strategy by April.

The move to shared services is being aided by a governmentwide shift to cloud computing, which will require many government agencies to standardize the software they use to take advantage of the cloud's low-cost storage model, and by a related push to close down and consolidate federal data centers.

The data center consolidation program in particular is giving many agencies an opportunity to look closely at their infrastructure and to point out possibilities for shared services, Rogers said.

The shared services strategy also is buoyed by tight budgets, according to panelists.

"That's increased the willingness to look at different opportunities because every organization is trying to leverage those dollars as far as they possibly can," said Mike Parker, deputy CIO at the Treasury Department. "Those barriers in the past of 'I want to build my own' are coming down quickly."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.