The implementation of Shared Services across organisations, especially in the public sector is being seen as one solution to cuts and belt-tightening despite the historical challenges and obstacles facing those wanted to deploy such a solution.
In the ‘age of austerity’ many organisations are beginning to overcome these challenges. Traditional issues of cultural differences and the entrenched notions over data ownership are being put aside and organisations are turning to Shared Services to work with the government’s “more with less” mantra.
Attitudes towards Shared Services are changing across the country, with greater levels of publicity emerging in recent months. For example, three London councils, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, are currently working towards merging all their services to become a ‘super-council’. The move could save up to £100 million every year. Inter-organisation collaboration between public bodies even extends to local authorities working with NHS Trusts, for instance in the case of Herefordshire County Council and the area’s primary care trust, which is expected to save over £2.5 million.
The almost critical step for local government to implement Shared Services to some extent, has increasingly become championed by other political figures too, not least the local government minister, Bob Neill. At a Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) gathering in September, Neill told delegates he wanted to see more being done with Shared Services, though he acknowledged challenges remained.
The use of Shared Services is the subject of a new study currently being conducted by K2 Advisory, Sift Media’s research body. What part does Shared Services play in your organisation to date, and what plans are in place to implement them in the future? Has the Comprehensive Spending Review played a part in shifting your organisation’s strategy towards the implementation of Shared Services?