Widespread adoption of IT shared services will help create a Federal Government that is leaner, more agile, and more efficient. To accomplish this, Federal Agencies should focus on three things:
Institutionalize a Shared-First Culture. Agency leaders must work with management, staff, and industry partners to create and cultivate a Shared-First orientation throughout the organization. This will involve changing historical ways of thinking about how business units and programs function – to move from independent silos of capability (some of which are duplicative) toward an integrated matrix of shared services that provide IT capabilities across the entire agency.
Begin with Commodity IT. Agency CIOs can accelerate the implementation of Shared-First concepts by focusing on commodity IT (defined in OMB M-11-29) and using the PortfolioStat12 process and agency-wide Enterprise Architecture13 to identify areas of waste and duplication. The consolidation of commodity IT will free-up funding for other areas where innovation is needed. OMB M-11-29 also gives the agency CIO authority over commodity IT resources.
Identify Providers and Delivery Models. Agencies should incorporate successful shared service business models from the public and private sector to use in intra-agency IT shared service delivery. A wide number of inter-agency services are available from existing Service Centers and LOBs. This includes the General Services Administration (GSA), the National Business Center (NBC), the National Finance Center (NFC), and OMB-approved LOBs in Financial Management, Human Resources Management, Geospatial Systems, Information Systems Security, Performance Management, and Budget Formulation/Execution. Each Service Center or LOB is located in an agency that has a Managing Partner organization to coordinate all aspects of service acquisition and delivery between Customer agencies and industry or government providers. Cost-benefit analyses that look out three to five years may show that outsourcing to an inter-agency shared service provider is the most cost-effective approach. Examples of this include commodity IT services for help desks, email, print management, website management, online collaboration services, and mobile/wireless services.
Consolidating commodity IT services within agencies is an immediate opportunity that can help build momentum to take on more complex IT shared services in mission and support areas. Agencies may want to use a phased approach to implementing a shared IT service so that a base of knowledge is developed between among the Managing Partner, Customer, and Suppliers; as well as to facilitate continuous improvement for service delivery and governance. Once the base is solidified, a Shared-First culture can expand and evolve at the business unit and program levels to create new opportunities. This reflects a “crawl, walk, run” approach to addressing complexity of IT shared service areas and allowing agencies to gain proficiency.
Implementation Milestones for 2012
During the 2012 calendar year, Federal Agencies and their Managing Partners will identify new IT shared services opportunities, improve existing services, and lay the groundwork for broader adoption in the future. Due dates and major deliverables are summarized as follows:
- March 1, 2012 – Identify two IT areas for migration to a shared service approach by December 31, 2012. (Owner:Agencies)
- August 31, 2012 – Submit an Enterprise Roadmap to OMB that includes the agency’s Commodity IT Consolidation Plan (IT Asset inventory is optional in 2012) and LOB Service Plan. (Owner:Agencies and their Managing Partners)
- December 31, 2012 – Agencies complete two OMB-approved IT shared service initiatives in 2012 and report status to OMB. (Owner: Agencies)
- April 1, 2013 and Annually Going Forward – Submit an updated Enterprise Roadmap to OMB (Owner:Agencies and their Managing Partners)
Note: the March 1, 2012 action item was called for separately by OMB in November 2011. Agency planning for and OMB tracking of the resulting submissions is being incorporated into this strategy and the follow-on action items..
The Federal CIO Council’s Shared Services Subcommittee will work collaboratively with Federal Agencies and Managing Partners to:
- Conduct a quarterly meeting / information session for Agencies and Managing Partners;
- Work with agencies to use enterprise architecture and capital planning processes to identify opportunity areas for IT shared services / strategic sourcing initiatives (e.g., PortfolioStat).
- Create an online catalog of inter-agency shared services;
- Collect and share best practices around the adoption of IT shared services;
- Assist OMB in reviewing Federal Agency shared IT service plans; and
- Assist OMB in monitoring LOB service quality via quarterly metric submissions.
Intra-Agency Commodity IT Services
The initial focus of the Shared-First strategy is on consolidating intra-agency commodity IT services, as described in OMB Memorandum M-11-29.
Migrate Two Areas in 2012
To accelerate the adoption of IT shared services, in November 2011 OMB directed agencies to identify at least two IT areas for migration to an intra- or inter-agency IT shared service model by December 31, 2012. The submissions were due March 1, 2012 and for each candidate area, agencies provided a description, justification for selection, and estimate of cost savings. In order to qualify as a migration area, associated projects and services must have been in the concept, planning, or requirements phase as of March 1, 2012. Investments that were in the implementation or steady state operating phase at that time were not eligible. New participation in a government-wide or agency-wide contract vehicle or the addition of new customers to existing services also qualified.
Agency Enterprise Roadmap / IT Shared Service Plan
To ensure that IT shared services are implemented in a coordinated and expedited manner, Federal Agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will submit an “Enterprise Roadmap” to OMB by August 31, 2012 that covers Fiscal Years (FY) 2012-2015 and includes the sections described below. Annually, Agency CIO’s will submit an updated Enterprise Roadmap to OMB by April 1st.
- Business and Technology Architecture: a high-level, integrated description of the agency’s business objectives and enabling IT capabilities across all operating units and program areas using enterprise architecture concepts and methods described in The Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture14 to describe the agency-wide current architecture, future architecture, and transition plans.
- IT Asset Inventory (Appendix 1): a list of IT assets agency-wide to include all IT systems15 and services that support mission, administrative, and commodity IT programs, using the Federal Enterprise Architecture Reference Model taxonomies provided in the Common Approach. For the August 2012 Enterprise Roadmap submission, this Asset Inventory is optional but highly recommended. The IT Asset Inventory will be required thereafter.
- Commodity IT Consolidation Plan (Appendix 2): a synopsis of the agency-wide IT investment portfolio review conducted during 2012 in accordance with guidance provided in OMB M-12-10. For the August 2010 submission, Federal Agencies will include their final plan to consolidate commodity IT, as is required by OMB M-12-10.
- Line of Business Service Plan (Appendix 3): the Program Manager of each Federal-wide Line of Business16 will submit a Plan to OMB via the Managing Partner agency’s CIO that addresses increasing the quality and update of the IT shared services that are provided through that LOB by the end of FY 2013. This Plan will follow guidance provided in the IT Reform Agenda’s 25-Point Plan17 and this IT Shared Services Strategy (see below).
For Enterprise Roadmap submission beginning with April 1, 2013, the following additional appendix will be included:
- IT Shared Service Plan (Appendix 4): a description, list, and transition plan for all intra-agency IT shared services that the agency intends to provide or consume during FY 2013-2017. The Plan will also contain a description of the two IT areas that agencies will migrate to a shared service model by December 31, 2012 in accordance with prior OMB guidance.
Improving IT Lines of Business
While commodity IT is the initial focus of this strategy, it is recognized that inter-agency shared services must be improved in order to lay the groundwork for increased future savings. As such, OMB; with the assistance of the Federal CIO Council, Agency CIOs, and Managing Partners; is taking steps to strengthen the existing set of inter-agency LOBs, streamline access to these services, and prepare for new LOBs and inter-agency service offerings.
Line of Business Service Plans
By August 31, 2012, as part of each host Agency’s Enterprise Roadmap, LOB Managing Partners will prepare a “LOB Service Plan” that includes an assessment of each associated IT shared service area and a plan to improve quality and increase uptake in each area by the end of FY 2013. A high-level summary of alternatives is also to be included which incorporates legacy Federal IT requirements18 and agency goals/guidance. OMB will work with Managing Partners and the Shared Services Subcommittee of the Federal CIO Council to assess the Roadmaps and monitor progress.
The LOB Service Plan should discuss challenges and opportunities in each shared service area, such as needed adjustments to funding models, Supplier issues, implementation of legacy Federal initiatives, security, data privacy, and changes in Customer requirements that may result in significant changes to services. Managing Partners should also incorporate Customer feedback and Supplier recommendations/requirements.
The LOB Service Plan should include benchmarks to evaluate the performance of Suppliers. These benchmarks must be measurable, attainable, and understandable by all stakeholders – to include:
- Usage: Number of services offered. Number of active Customers in each service area.
- Uptake: Number of currently subscribing Customers vs. total possible. Changes in the number of subscribing Customers over the past three years.
- Satisfaction: Number of repeat Customers for each Supplier. Number of Customer trouble tickets and service requests made in each service area. Time required to resolve trouble tickets and service requests (specific and average). Customer survey results. Adjustments or credits provided by Suppliers to Consumers when service levels are not maintained.
- Efficiency: Cost per service, person, and transaction by each Supplier. Industry comparative prices. Projected vs. actual cost savings in migrating to each shared service that is offered.
- Effectiveness: The attainment of performance metrics identified in Managing Partner contracts and Customer Service Level Agreements.
Online IT Services Catalog
Currently, Federal Agencies have limited information regarding the full spectrum of inter-agency IT shared service options that are available. To correct this, OMB has worked to with the Federal CIO Council’s Shared Services Subcommittee to establish and maintain an online IT Services Catalog. This catalog will be launched in FY 2012 and will provide Federal Agencies with a list of available services and contract vehicles, as well as contact information for Managing Partners and Suppliers.