More than a third of the Federal government’s total IT budget could be saved by utilizing shared services through cloud computing.

According to MeriTalk’s report Shared Services: Ready or Not?, underwritten by ServiceNow, 87 percent of Feds believe that cloud computing has transformed their view of shared services, but just 53 percent use shared services today. Only 44 percent say their agency currently offers IT services to other agencies.

Despite the potential savings and stated strategic importance, less than half (40 percent) of agencies have defined goals and objectives and just 32 percent have established Service Level Agreements. A mere 16 percent have developed the financial model and chargeback system to position their IT department as a “broker of services.”

Implementation has been slowed by agency culture (82 percent) and security (68 percent), although 72 percent of respondents said that their CIOs have identified shared services as a strategic initiative for 2014, the report says. Respondents struggle with split leadership, though, as CIOs control just an estimated 44 percent of their annual IT budget.