Technology is an opportunity for federal agencies to limit redundancy. Does every agency need a unique email platform, HR system or procurement process? With a few exceptions, the answer is clearly no. The easiest way to “do more with less” is to share infrastructure and services between agencies with similar needs.
This excerpt from the Federal IT Shared Services Strategy guide offers some perspective on the challenges facing government today:
There are nearly 300 organizations in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government that employ more than 2.6 million people and operate over 10,000 IT systems. These organizations provide a myriad of manual and online services to customer groups that include citizens, industry, and other government agencies at the federal, state, local, tribal, and international levels. Moreover, annual spending on IT8 by these organizations has increased steadily over the past decade to nearly $80 billion.
Federal Agencies must innovate with less given current fiscal constraints, increasing mission requirements, rising customer expectations, and the ever-evolving landscape of IT. For Federal Agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) this means that they must:
- Deliver solutions faster, for less money, and with fewer resources;
- Develop authoritative future-ready business and technology architectures / standards to guide investment; and
- Take advantage of evolving technologies and methodologies to accomplish agency mission and support functions more efficiently, while also improving quality and flexibility.
A recent report from MeriTalk surveyed feds on how they believe an emphasis on shared services could affect government. The results are interesting and the numbers are telling.