The Shared First initiative is only the first step in what Office of Management and Budget officials refer to as a “crawl, walk, run” adoption of shared services. Agencies are expected to first consolidate any IT systems that enable intra-agency sharing, but even when they do have to develop new applications, they are expected to keep the sharing concept in mind.
Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel is recommending that agencies keep several “Future First” principles in mind when undertaking any planning, development or modernization efforts. This means adhering to several general design principles that ensure that, as technology advances, agency systems are prepared to optimally share data and functionality. The principles are:
- Ensure that the application or service can be shared by multiple interagency consumers, with minimal customization;
- Utilize web-based solutions with standardized application interfaces;
- Migrate to cloud-based application hosting;
- Virtualize servers;
- Rely on object reuse, machine-readable data and XML data formats;
- Establish security controls and continuous monitoring of service operations;
- Use configuration management and version control;
- Embrace process standardization in commercial products and workflow adoption.