Critical Read

Study: Shared services could save government $28 billion

computers and globe_data sharing

What: A MeriTalk study called “Shared Serviced: Ready or Not?” The study was underwritten by ServiceNow. MeriTalk conducted in-person surveys with 138 federal IT professionals at a January event, 76 percent from civilian agencies and 24 percent from defense and intelligence agencies; 67 percent of those surveyed held IT roles.

Why: The White House defines shared services as an IT function that is provided for consumption by multiple organizations within or between federal agencies. Nearly 75 percent of respondents said shared services are a strategic initiative for their agency CIOs in the coming year, and 96 percent believe it should be. Just over half of agencies are using shared services, while 44 percent are actually providing services – cloud computing, for example – to other agencies.

Yet the survey suggests current shared services are haphazardly organized. Only about 40 percent of agencies have defined goals and objectives, and only 32 percent have established -level agreements. Even fewer, only 16 percent, have developed a financial model and chargeback system to position their IT systems as a broker of any such services. Culture, security, procurement, cost savings quantification and infrastructure are all viewed as barriers to improved shared services by respondents.

The potential, however, is great. Those surveyed felt shared services could save 34 percent of the total federal IT budget, the equivalent of $27.9 billion.


  • Feds say agency culture is a more significant hurdle than security.
  • Nearly nine out of 10 Feds believe cloud computing is transforming views of shared services.
  • To enable government-wide shared services, agencies call for senior leadership support (81 percent), SLAs (75 percent), and a governance process for IT services (66 percent). 

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.


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