Critical Read

Putting shared services to work

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What: CIO Council's Federal Shared Services Implementation Guide, released April 16

Why: Shared services are a top priority for the Obama administration, for reasons outlined in the May 2012 Federal IT Shared Services Strategy. Yet while the potential efficiencies and cost savings are substantial, identifying good shared-services opportunities, settling on an appropriate funding model and getting executive-level buy-in are all serious challenges. The implementation guide details the existing options, outlines the questions agencies will have to answer, and offers guidance for determining when shared services -- as either a user or provider -- would make sense.

Verbatim: "The time for agencies to consider exit strategies from a shared service provider is during the initial planning for transition and during negotiations with the shared service provider. Planning in advance for a possible exit, if it becomes necessary, is critical to the success of any transition."

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