Shared services gaining traction, PSC reports

A new report from the Professional Services Council shows shared services growing with collaborations among federal agencies.

tech budget

Federal agencies have been using more shared services in the last couple of years, but their cloud spend is declining, according to the Professional Services Council's (PSC) newest research into how federal agencies spend their IT budgets.

Agencies have been learning how to leverage both cloud and shared services to best serve their missions, according to Steve Vetter, one of PSC's program leads for IT budget and management research for the Vision 2020 market report released Nov. 9.

Shared services spend has grown 2% since 2017, according to the report.

While the government's ability to monitor IT budgets through the federal IT dashboard has made it easier to track cloud use, that data shows a 3% decline in cloud spending since 2019, it said.

The growth for shared services has come from increasing collaboration among agencies, instead of the traditional designated agency shared services providers, such as E-Gov and the General Services Administration's Unified Shared Services Management (USSM) operations, Greg Lobbin, PSC's co-lead on the report, explained.

Cloud remains a powerful tool for agencies and they are continuing to acquire the technology. The study shows total cloud spending, including infrastructure, platform and software-as-a-service, will be $2.4 billion in 2020, compared to $2.469 billion in 2019.

Cloud is in a transitional period from the "cloud first" initial adoption period, to the more recent "cloud smart" policies that encourage more targeted applications, according to Vetter. New technologies are also commanding the attention of federal agencies, he said.

Cloud remains "a priority" for federal agencies, said Vetter, "but there's not as much emphasis as we're seeing in the areas of cyber and robotics process automation and machine learning, which have a huge emphasis across the federal government and most agencies."