2ndWave has worked with several Federal agencies to help them provide a shared service, evaluate available shared services, and migrate to a shared service for financial and grants management systems. Transitioning to a shared service or to becoming a shared service provider presents challenges to any Federal agency because of the risks involved, the lack of experience many agencies have in either role, and the potential lack of direct control. Further, agencies have to consider how well shared service providers meet their requirements and how they plan to refresh their services over time to reflect technological and process innovation.
Another area of concern is a lack of governing legislation. Unlike other aspects of their business process that are supported by legislation such as the CFO Act and the Clinger-Cohen Act, Federal CFOs and CIOs are not similar supported by legislation defining how agencies should both produce and consume shared services.
This commentary by John Marshall of the Shared Services Leadership Coalition from Federal Computer Week published June 22, 2015, makes a strong case for why legislation is needed to help drive better and faster progress in the movement of Federal agencies to shared services. It is an interesting perspective that adds to the overall dialog on Federal Shared Services.