Sharing services with another jurisdiction requires giving up a degree of control — an understandably scary proposition for many CIOs.

But Steve Henderson, CIO of Lincoln and Lancaster County, Neb., faced a significant problem when a key stakeholder opted out of his mainframe setup. If he continued providing mainframe services, he’d have to raise prices to other users to cover his costs, which were essentially fixed.

Henderson brought a wealth of state experience with him to City Hall — 30 years’ worth, in fact. That tenure gave him confidence in the state’s IT infrastructure, which led him to initiate a shared services agreement for mainframe computing services.

“Having worked in state government and knowing the people and processes made a huge difference in terms of comfort level,” Henderson said.

The shared services agreement gives Henderson a scalable resource he can subscribe to monthly, and gets him out of the mainframe business. The migration, which he expects to complete within six months, paved the way for more shared services too. He is now using the state’s enterprise content management (ECM) system.

“The state spent millions on its investment in the ECM system that it has,” Henderson explained. “If we wanted to do something similar, I’d have to invest something similar here, which just is not feasible.”

Henderson said he’s open to expanding the shared services relationship even further, if it will benefit Lincoln and Lancaster County.

Return to the 2014 GT Top 25

Noelle Knell, Assistant Web Editor Noelle Knell  |  Managing Editor

Government Technology managing editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience, writing about public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she graduated from the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and @GovTechNoelle on Twitter.