Federal agencies looking to employ shared services for their processes should take the time to choose the right technology platform that best fits the organization’s needs, GCN reported Tuesday.
Karen Schwartz writes that according to Mike Upton, deputy director of the Federal Aviation Administrationenterprise services center, canvassing the usual and unusual needs of agencies goes a long way to pinpointing who qualifies as a reliable, flexible shared service provider.
“If it can accommodate those (unusual requirements), you know that you’ll probably be able to make other accommodations for other users down the road,” said Upton, one of the first to implement the consolidation effort in the early 2000s with the Transportation Department.
Schwartz reports that beyond hurdling the first key step of identifying a provider, officials believe shared services success also hinges on how the data for conversion is structured.
“If you don’t get (data cleansing) right, the success of any migration is in jeopardy,” said Joseph M. Ward Jr., who manages the Interior Department‘s business center, which provides acquisition, finance and human resources shared services for 17 agencies.
“It can cause delays, functional errors and expense in fixing it after the fact,” he added.
Ward says agencies should also perform a constant review of the performance of their provided shared services, and always look at how to better apply or modify their offerings to include more clients.
“That’s where we’ll get the real bang for the buck,” said Upton.