Shared services, which enable significant cost savings and streamlined processes to drive resource efficiency, are piquing the interest of more and more federal government IT leaders. While the concept has been around for a while, it’s gaining momentum as federal agencies look for ways to meet their mission in an era when budgets are flat and it’s not feasible to rip and replace the legacy IT systems.
By implementing shared services in areas where agencies and departments have common need, for example in back-office and administrative functions, costs can be managed. And with the right underlying platform, the basic service offering can be tailored to each agency’s unique requirements. The GSA is moving full-steam ahead, as is DISA in providing shared services to the Department of Defense. Read on to learn more.
Follow Best Practices & Focus on the Right Technologies to Create Success in Shared Services
What is one of the most common reasons that organizations fail to adopt shared services? It shouldn’t come as much surprise that the primary reason that shared services models aren’t adopted are concerns about liability, accountability and autonomy, according to a Digital Communities Special Report. However, there are best practices that can ensure successful IT services programs. These include consistent, strong leadership from both the business and IT areas to move the project from concept to implementation, a clear vision of what exactly the shared service is to achieve and how it will happen, and measurable outcomes that collect the information necessary to determine if the project has been a success. Read the entire article here.
Got Cloud Shared Services? The GSA Wants You.
The General Services Administration (GSA) needs to create back-office shared services, including financial management, human resources and acquisition, so its Unified Shared Services Management office is looking for contractors with software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud offerings to meet those needs. In its request for information (RFI), the GSA calls for industry to detail if it could provide such SaaS solutions in an interoperable and modular way, as well as for feedback on its proposed Federal Integrated Business Framework aimed at developing common criteria required for SaaS solutions to meet the needs of different administrative functions. Read the entire article here.
A Possible Solution to the Shared Services Funding Problem Emerges
The federal government must come to a common agreement about shared services for its back-office administrative functions and other business processes to streamline processes and better serve constituents. The current shared services model has hit a brick wall, according to the Unified Shared Services Management (USSM) Office, so leaders in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and General Services Administration (GSA) are looking to a subscription-based or software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to give the government flexibility and predictability, as well as to eliminate costly spikes. If they don’t, it could take decades to move agencies off of legacy back-offices systems and on to new shared platforms. Read the entire article here.
DISA Leverages Budget Woes to Drive Innovation and Get to Work
At a recent AFCEA breakfast in Washington D.C., Tony Montemarano, DISA‘s executive deputy director, shared that continuing budgetary woes were changing how the agency is working. While tight budgets have constrained much of the innovation that DISA would like to drive for the Department of Defense, it is still making strides through smart use of commercial solutions that can be adapted to DISA’s unique needs. Montemarano noted that DISA’s first priority is to “replace the legacy…in a cost effective manner.” DISA has already found some solutions that not only work with legacy systems to modernize key activities, such as acquisition and procurement, but also does so in a way that enables them to develop shared services for other branches of the Department of Defense. You can find out more about how DISA is adapting commercial solutions to meet the mission here.