Oakland County, Mich., has a long history of providing shared services to nearby jurisdictions which lack the ability to invest in major IT systems. Back in 2011, CIO and Deputy County Executive Phil Bertolini rolled out a concept of a government-to-government (G2G) cloud platform for shared services. Oakland County had IT systems in place that smaller jurisdictions needed but could ill afford to purchase and maintain.

This past summer, Michigan signed onto the project, and last Wednesday, the county showcased five jurisdictions participating in shared services that include online payments, over-the-counter payments and Web publishing. Oakland, Macomb, Genesee, Livingston and St. Clair counties – covering an area of 3.5 thousand square miles with 2.8 million residents – discussed how shared services improve services and efficiency while saving money for individual jurisdictions.

Macomb County is the latest participant in G2G Cloud Services, signing on just two weeks ago. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel joined Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson at a news conference Wednesday to discuss the benefits of the shared services, along with Carol Griffith, chairperson of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners; Genesee County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Jamie Curtis; St. Clair County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Jeff Blohm; and 52nd District Court Chief Judge Julie Nicholson.

Legal agreements are in place to enable governments to work with other governments, said Bertolini in a county video, and the business model makes sense to everyone.