|Collaborate to identify common needs||Promote legal certainty|
Budget fragmentation and shrinking budgets make it more difficult for public administrations to co-create/develop IT solutions together. The individual administration’s mandate usually does not include creating value for other administrations and this is an additional reason for the limited appeal of joint development. Another challenge is relinquishing old applications with multiple (inter)dependencies. The cost of phasing out and replacing entrenched solutions deters public administrations from exploring alternatives. Furthermore, developing, using and maintaining a reusable solution requires extra work, for instance to deliver better documentation or adjust workflows, as well as specialised resources for reuse and customisation, while the benefits (i.e. the sharing of work needed to sustain the solution) are often enjoyed only later on. The necessary resources and expertise can be difficult to find in most administrations as most are local and have limited numbers of staff.
However, by not engaging in co-creation, public administrations may incur higher costs, face more development work, and miss out on opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability of their IT solutions.
3.1. Apply business models that facilitate the co-creation, sharing and reuse of IT solutions
A number of business models enable the delivery of public services based on the sharing of IT solutions and linked services, such as support or procurement. These business models cover different forms of collaboration, including: the development of reusable IT solutions; the method and conditions for sharing IT solutions; the reuse of shared IT solutions.
|Supporting instrument||A list of successful business models is available on the Joinup.eu platform and includes, among others, shared development of IT solutions by the European Commission. |
Public administrations should choose and describe the most appropriate business model for them, taking into account the form of cooperation (i.e. common development, common provision of a service, etc.) and business needs.
For example, by adopting a common approach to procurement, public administrations can increase value for money and save on costs through improved planning and coordination across organisations, less duplication of work and sharing of both experience and IT solutions. The development and provision of shared services can also generate efficiency and financial gains.
3.2. When assessing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an IT solution, take into account costs related to its end-of-life management
The TCO is a financial estimate intended to help calculate the short- and longterm costs of any solution by taking into account the complete costs from purchase to disposal. In the context of procurement, public administrations typically assess costs related to the following:
• acquisition and procurement, such as upfront evaluation, purchase price, licences, and hardware;
• operation and management (of content, user roles, etc.), upgrades, support services, training and software scaling;
• change management, such as integration, customisation and corrective maintenance. Costs related to the end-of-life management of legacy IT solutions, such as migrating data to another IT solution, should not be anticipated.
3.3. Consider making your IT solution available as Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS can help smaller public administrations to bridge knowledge and resource gaps by outsourcing the development, implementation, customisation, operation and change management of an IT solution to another entity. SaaS is a viable alternative with distinct benefits:
• higher reuse potential;
• time and cost savings for administrations developing a SaaS solution together;
• higher scalability and better integration with other (SaaS) offerings.
Recommended measures for central bodies
• Support projects with high potential for sharing and reuse
Central bodies should support public administrations that run projects with high potential for sharing and reuse. A good way to motivate public administrations with similar needs and requirements to work together is, for example, to provide financial incentives to jointly develop IT solutions, which would create benefits for both sides.
• Implement business models that encourage public administrations to pool their resources
Central bodies should implement business models that encourage public administrations to use common pools of resources when developing and/or procuring common IT solutions.
• Provide specialised resources
Central bodies should not only pool resources but ensure the availability of specialists in different areas, i.e. project managers, business analysts, enterprise architects, security experts, service managers, interoperability experts, etc. These specialists should work across different public administrations applying the same methods and practices, depending on needs.