From the outset of this Administration, President Obama has recognized the unique power of technology to streamline government services, cut waste and duplication, save taxpayer dollars, and drive efficiency across the Federal government. Through the Campaign to Cut Waste and other efforts, we’ve shed light on Federal spending both in IT and across the government; unlocked valuable government data for use by researchers, companies, and the public; and turned back the dial on overspending in Federal IT, saving billions through optimizing infrastructure and tackling poorly performing projects. Now, we are going to promote responsible and business driven sharing across Federal IT to reduce spending further so that we can invest in needed innovative mission systems.
In support of these efforts, last October I launched the Shared-First initiative to root out waste and duplication across the Federal IT portfolio. Today, we’re building on that important step by taking another. Today, I am releasing the Federal IT Shared Services Strategy, which will arm agencies with new tools to eliminate waste and duplication and update their services for the 21st century.
The new strategy was first outlined in the December 2010 25-Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management. It covers the entire spectrum of IT shared service opportunities throughout the Federal Government and promotes the use of existing and new strategic sourcing methods where agencies can combine their buying power for similar IT needs and get lower prices and improved service leverage in the process.
Leveraged with existing policy on TechStat and PortfolioStat, agencies will use this strategy to assess the maturity of their IT portfolio management process, make decisions on eliminating duplication, and consolidate commodity IT systems, services, and related contracts in order to maximize the return on IT investments across the portfolio.
The Shared-First approach creates new opportunities for industry to provide shared IT services to agencies that are more agile in delivery and more responsive to a wide variety of evolving mission, support, and commodity IT requirements. The strategy recognizes the need for agencies to gain proficiency in managing or consuming shared IT services and therefore provides an initial focus on commodity IT consolidation opportunities, as called for in the August 2011 OMB memo to Chief Information Officers.
When the Shared-First approach is implemented in concert with PortfolioStat investment reviews, standardized architecture methods, and Digital Government planning concepts, agencies will have a stronger set of tools by which to innovate with less. The Federal IT Shared Services Strategy is an enduring concept, which must be ingrained in agency management cultures to ensure that mission success continues during times of tight budgets.
Steven VanRoekel is the Federal Chief Information Officer – for more information visit www.cio.gov.