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Friday, August 17, 2007

Perfect Pitch

With the IT Infrastructure Optimization Initiative, OMB strives to fine-tune a systems approach for needs that cross agency boundaries.

Adriving objective of the Office of E-Government and Information Technology has been to save money and improve operations by moving agencies to shared solutions for cross-agency needs.

The Office of Management and Budget first addressed this objective with its Quicksilver projects, which attempted to use the best existing government capabilities to provide shared services. OMB then introduced its Line of Business initiatives, further maturing and focusing the process of moving agencies to shared services. The LOBs remain the current focus for this campaign.

In the president’s fiscal 2008 budget proposal, OMB formally introduced its latest LOB, the IT Infrastructure Optimization Initiative. IOI aims to help agencies tackle some of the foundational systems complexities in expanding shared services.

The vision for the IOI LOB is an optimized and cost-effective governmentwide IT infrastructure that supports agencies’ core missions and customer-centric services.

Centers of excellence and shared-services providers in the specific functional areas implement most of the other LOB initiatives. For example, under the Financial Management LOB, agencies are selecting an OMB-certified center of excellence to implement, host and/or run their financial operations.

For the IOI LOB, however, agencies will be driven to improve IT infrastructure cost and performance by taking actions that will move the respective agencies toward industry-average service levels and cost-effectiveness measures.

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-Paul Wohlleben, Grant Thornton, Published in FedTech.com

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