people do things, others start to notice what's going on. When it then goes beyond that to a point where enough people have been successful, it starts to take off. We're not at take-off, but we're beyond the first stage. There's now enough experience to get over some of the hurdles people are nervous about."

One of those hurdles Mechling mentioned is, according to Wilson, the fact that many agencies have done the same thing the same way for too many years. In addition, there are a number of agencies that, though they would be unlikely to admit it, don't see cost-saving and improved efficiency as an important function.

"Believe it or not, there are some governments where the corporate culture does not focus on cost-cutting and efficiencies," Wilson said. "So if you try to sell a program like shared services just as a cost-cutting or efficiency initiative, it's not an objective of that organization. There are people [here] who have told me that is their biggest obstacle."

Chad Vander Veen  | 

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.