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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HR, Financial Management on tap at DHS

Keith Trippie, the Homeland Security Department's executive director of the Enterprise System Development Office, said the agency has invested in more than 10 IT shared services in the cloud, including email, test and development and collaboration tools.

But now DHS also is moving toward financial management and human resources shared services. He said the idea of using shared service providers is much easier now.

Trippie said the culture change is getting people to understand that buying shared services is like buying an airplane ticket: they don't need to own the plane to get across country. They just have to worry about the end result, in this case getting to their destination.

As for DHS' financial management system, Trippie said the desire to consolidate and use shared services is real this time.

DHS has tried two other times unsuccessfully to consolidate financial management systems under programs called Emerge2 and TASC, only to fail. The latest attempt was to bring the components, such as FEMA, which need new systems the most under other component systems that are in better shape.

"There are several shared services providers that are out there. The department has a bunch of legacy financial systems that we've been on," Trippie said. "Culturally over the past year, we've moved the needle where most folks are saying 'We will buy a shared service. We don't have to build that. It's not our core competency. It's not how we want to do business.'"

An executive steering committee, led by the DHS chief financial officer and chief information officer, is leading the effort to move to a shared service for financial management. Trippie said there still is a lot of work that needs to be done including potentially an acquisition.

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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