White House Wants Increased IT Sharing Between Agencies

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The White House is giving agencies until March of next year to submit plans to improve cross utilization of information technology services.

In a 16 -age draft released Friday, the White House set forth a rough outline for its “Shared First” strategy, which is part of the Federal Information Technology Shared Services Strategy.

Under the shared service approach, agencies are mandated to first explore IT sharing avenues, rather than initiate new developments. The White House is asking agencies to:

  • Develop a shared services plan that includes at least two commodity IT areas for migration to a shared environment by Dec. 31, 2012, focusing initially on consolidation at the intra-agency level.
  • Assess and benchmark existing lines of business, including current services and development of benchmark metrics.
  • Develop road maps for modernization and improvement of existing services, with agencies and OMB working together to monitor progress toward these goals

The Office of Management and Budget reported annual spending on IT by the executive branch was around $80 billion in 2010 for unclassified systems and programs, roughly $35 billion more than in 2001.

“A review of over 7,000 agency IT investments submitted in fiscal year 2010 revealed hundreds of redundancies in support and commodity IT resources across the federal government,” potentially costing the government billions in savings according to the draft.

The Shared First service correlates with the government’s “Cloud First” strategy, which requires agencies to assess cloud computing first when looking into new IT investments. In addition, the cloud is expected to play an important role in the government’s cross-utilization of IT services.

The White House expects to release its final strategy document by April 2012.

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