Although all federal agencies are operating under the 2012 Federal IT Shared Services Strategy which requires organizations to first look for existing systems and services before considering new IT investments, many misconceptions are limiting shared service adoption.
Government Business Council (GBC) research found that federal executives want shared services to increase efficiency and improve focus on agency mission. They are most interested in reducing redundancy, cutting costs and focusing on core competencies, with improving technical capabilities and increasing collaboration being secondary priorities.
The research also uncovered seven myths, which may be hindering the adoption of shared services. For example, some respondents consider that shared services are the same as outsourcing. Others worry that shared services lead to a loss of control, do not provide return on investment or lead to vendor lock-in.
For those agencies considering shared services, the GBC report recommends conducting thorough assessments before you decide to move a function to a shared service, making sure that interagency or service level agreements are specific, leveraging shared services for administrative functions and weighing the costs and benefits of outsourcing.