Why public sector organisations need a shared services centre

A new blog post outlining how public sector organisations can benefit from a shared services centre argues that they are one of the most effective ways to maximise resources.

Written by industry researcher Marco Rolla for Unit4, the post outlines the key benefits of central locations where services are completed and why the public sector should consider their roll-out. These include:

1. Share Top Talent and Best Practices

When public sector organisations share a services centre, they all have access to the same top talent that performs tasks at that centre. This ensures that all organisations involved benefit from top-level staff, and that each organisation takes advantage of best practices that have been proven to work for other organisations.

2. Faster and More Efficient

Shared services centres are created to serve internal organisations. Because they are, by definition, service based, shared services centres respond to organisational needs much quicker than an organisation’s employees with other responsibilities can. The result is that problems are fixed more quickly and the fixing process is much less disruptive to normal workflow.

3. Economies of Scale

Shared services centres are designed to deliver economies of scale. They are able to do this for individual organisations by leveraging purchasing on a global or national basis, for example. This means that organisations can cut costs and increase production, resulting in more income and resources to allocate for other uses.

4. Improved Productivity

Because shared services centres deliver economies of scale and standard business processes, they are able to help improve productivity for public sector organisations, while also cutting costs. Deloitte Consulting recently conducted a global shared services survey and found that more than 90% of respondents achieved consistent annual productivity improvements after moving to a shared services center model. Also, around 70% said they saw at least 5% improvement each year.

5. Help With Multiple Services

Using a shared services centre can help with simple, standardised, universal administrative duties, like payroll and HR. However, shared services centres can go beyond simple back-office administration. They can help public sector organisations with multiple operational tasks, including accounting, legal, purchasing, security and IT, which can further relieve internal employees of administrative duties, and allow them to have more energy and time to do customer-facing work.

Many public sector organisations are choosing to use shared services centres for multiple functions. Over the past two years, the number of shared services centres with more than three functions has increased by more than 40%.

6. Spur Process Change

Shared services centres help improve productivity by affording organisations more time and manpower, but they can also serve as a catalyst for business process change. Moving services to a central location can help remove old, outdated and bureaucratic processes, and introduce new technology into public sector offices.

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