Australia’s IT shared services paradigm is dead


blog Some excellent comments from Gartner distinguished analyst Andrea Di Maio on the global government IT shared services paradigm and the ongoing series of disasters in Australia in particular. I hope Di Maio will forgive me for quoting so extensively from his blog. If not, please let me know :) The analyst writes:

“… it appears that shared services are having a hard time. Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria have all had their fair share of issues with shared services, and this is happening quite consistently in other parts of the world.

There is no doubt that duplication of services and spending across different government agencies makes little sense. But experience shows that there is insufficient attention to the governance aspects (agencies want to have a say in how the shared services are structured) and – more recently – to technology evolution that is making some of the technology that is being targeted through shared services more and more commoditised.

The challenge is no longer to put one organisation in charge of delivering shared services, but to look at how to support agencies in efficiently buying the same service from external service providers.”

I couldn’t agree more. From Victoria to Queensland and of course Western Australia, Australian states have comprehensively proven by now that the IT shared services model as it is currently understood simply does not work well in Australia. We need to reform our thinking on this — not going back to basics, but moving forward from the lessons of the past. How many disastrous reports must we read from state government auditor-generals before we realise this?

Some background reading:

Tell me you can read all that and not agree this is one area of government IT strategy which needs a drastic re-think. The only question I have is how the Federal Government avoided going down the same disastrous path as most of the states.


  1. The email failure wasn’t a fault by CenITex. It’s just because they provide the service now, the departments have someone to blame other than themselves.

    • Ah OK, fair enough. Wasn’t sure about that one. However, I do have a plethora of other articles detailing CenITex failures which I can list :)

  2. Maybe Australia is just stuck with a really big bunch of morons in their Capitals.

    None of them seem to be able to handle anything… IT, Law enforcement, education, health and welfare, they’re all being bungled.

    I wonder how long it will take for the Revolution to come?

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