Five Tips for Outsourcing or Sharing IT Resources/Photo by iStockphoto Five Tips for Outsourcing or Sharing IT Resources Photo by iStockphoto

influence may not be enough to mediate a conflict or spur everyone's agreement on outsourcing or sharing. A governor, mayor, agency director or other powerful public official may have to step in as the ultimate peacemaker.

"You need somebody from the top saying, 'This is how we're going to do it,' because otherwise you have people slipping off the farm right and left," said Pennsylvania's Wyatt.

But convincing a governor or mayor to green-light these projects can be an uphill battle. Aaron Erickson, the program manager of Ohio Shared Services, knows this well. He is one of the people who spearheaded the project's ambitious consolidation of many financial processes under the management of a central organization within the state's Office of Budget and Management. The Ohio Shared Services center executes financial processes for customers across state government, and there are plans to implement an enterprise resource planning system based on Oracle's PeopleSoft for customers. Erickson has spent years working to secure funding from the government and winning crucial support.

"It takes a lot of time, and you have to be committed to putting the time in. It started with one-on-one lunches, coffee with every CFO who would meet with me -- and from there, starting to talk to outside advisers," Erickson said. "Once I had enough people saying, 'I think this is a good idea. We should pursue it,' then we started the conversations about funding."

After funding is secured, public-sector IT leaders, including Erickson, have found that shared and managed services usually pay off in the end -- and in time, many citizens see the benefits too.

"It's how collaboration makes everything better for everybody," Sarasota's Hanson said. "It's better for the institutions at large. It's better for your career. The opportunities are greater. The service levels are greater. Your reputation is stronger."


Hilton Collins, Staff Writer Hilton Collins  | 

Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.