The White House's IT Shared Services Strategy, introduced by federal CIO Steven VanRoekel in May, seeks to reduce duplicative IT systems and services by consolidating on shared platforms. The strategy is simple in concept but far-reaching in its implications.
Under the plan, the Federal CIO Council will create an online catalog of IT services that are approved for sharing across agencies. The services will be established by organizations designated as "managing partners," which are also responsible for maintaining contracts with agencies that consume the services. OMB wants federal IT teams to think "shared first" for new requirements.
With its heavy emphasis on commodity technologies, the Shared Services Strategy's innovations are more latent than realized. But a key goal is to free up funding for areas of government "where innovation is needed." If the strategy works, innovation should flourish.