Implementing Shared IT Services in a Federal Environment: Part 1

This post by Kareem El-Alaily and Lauren Plotnick was originally published on Public Spend Forum.

In today’s budgetary environment, government agencies are striving to spend taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible. With the goal of reducing overhead costs, senior leaders are seeking opportunities to consolidate, and implement a more efficient IT working environment. Designing and implementing shared services solutions–such as creating a central IT sourcing office, consolidating IT personnel within a function, or migrating multiple offices onto one centrally managed email platform–is one route to improving IT efficiency and effectiveness. Yet, shared services implementations seldom realize their full potential. Over the course of this series, we’ll look at the reasons they fail and how to enable future success.

We have all heard the mantra, “If you build it, they will come.” IT leaders believed that if they built an IT shared service offering, customers would race to sign up. Freed from non-core IT tasks, customers could then redirect time and resources to mission-related activities. On paper, this theory makes sense. Executed correctly, shared services allow participants to take advantage of economies of scale and pool resources, thereby improving productivity and driving down costs, in some cases up to 60%.

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