Consolidating and centralizing functions

Shared services is the provision of a service by one part of an organization or group, where that service had previously been found, in more than one part of the organization or group.

Thus the funding and resourcing of the service is shared and the providing department effectively becomes an internal service provider.

Without systematic efforts to reexamine its headquarters resources on a more comprehensive basis, DOD may miss opportunities to shift resources away from overhead.

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The former is ‘obvious': if you have fewer managers, IT systems, buildings etc; if you use less of some resource, it will reduce costs.

The second argument is ‘efficiency through industrialization’.

Through my investigation which included internet searches and speaking to other CIOs across the country, I found that the majority of State government IT organizational structures consist of two basic approaches: centralized and decentralized.

All services are provided by a central organization in the centralized model, while the decentralized approach is characterized by State agencies managing their IT functions as independent departments within the agencies.

Both approaches have pros and cons, with advocates writing a multitude of articles basically supporting one approach or the other with only a few supporting a hybrid model.

“Both the decentralized and centralized models offer advantages” Centralization The centralized approach is what I have known throughout my private career, so I was excited about the opportunity to apply established practices to the State of Nebraska decentralized structure.The decentralized structure has created duplication of tools and resources over time.Even more concerning, it has created an unhealthy competition among IT operations which interferes with achieving our common goal of a seamless, efficient, customer-centric IT environment.This was made clear to me during my appointment process as CIO of Nebraska.With that goal in mind I began research on business approaches that exist across State government.The Department of Defense (DOD) has taken some steps to examine its headquarters resources for efficiencies, but additional opportunities for cost savings may exist by further consolidating organizations and centralizing functions.

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