Year Ahead

Scott Quehl: Sharing services at scale

global

Strategy and efficiency are terms not often tied together, but times change. Budget pressures now are permanent, forcing government agencies to rethink day-to-day activities and long-term goals. Technology will thread throughout government performance to help address this new reality, virtually reaching across agencies and to customers to transform service delivery.

This is the year when shared services become essential. Managing customer cases collaboratively beyond agency boundaries simply offers more. The success of BusinessUSA, where the Internet connects companies to more than 1,000 programs and information sources at nine agencies, suggests digital government’s promise.

Paying for those changes will increasingly come from C-suite leaders rethinking existing budgets. Will $25 million in savings from consolidating 200 personal computer contracts be considered a technology initiative? An acquisition initiative? A budget initiative? Or a human resource initiative if savings ease furlough pressures and fund tools to make the most of employee talents? All of the above.

There will also be funding from private partners ready to risk capital to share in savings. Imagine an agency with multiple, antiquated email platforms. The CIO, with the support of agency leaders and the financial and acquisition community, could lead a single cloud-based email implementation across the enterprise. Efficiencies would fund only half the migration, and the cloud provider would fund the balance, recovering its investment only when it meets service, security, savings and other requirements. A federal team would be equipped to monitor the provider and take action if performance falls short.

That will happen at a scale that makes a difference as agency leaders pull together and a thoughtful approach to sharing in savings is applied.

About the Author

Scott Quehl is a senior principal at Accenture Federal Services and a former chief financial officer at the Department of Commerce.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.