Shared Services Strategy to ‘deliver millions of pounds of savings to the taxpayer’

Increased use of cloud, robotics and shared platforms are at the heart of a new government Shared Services Strategy.

By improving civil servants’ interactions with government back office services, the strategy will support a Civil Service, where civil servants can seamlessly move between departments and roles, allowing the Civil Service to deploy what we need to meet the challenges of the day.

The strategy primarily focuses on driving value and efficiency for the taxpayer by moving to the latest cloud technology, promoting simpler back office processes across departments supported by automation, and meeting the needs of end users across the Civil Service, police, and the armed forces. Doing these things will enable a smarter and more flexible back office for the Civil Service.

Once it has been implemented successfully, the new strategy will promote competition between shared services providers in the market, driving both performance for users, and value for the taxpayer by making service providers constantly improve their technology. By making the most of the latest automation, and robotics, we can make sure that civil servants are supported while they deliver public services.

This strategy will be delivered by the newly formed Government Shared Services unit, from within the Cabinet Office, in collaboration with all government departments.

Matthew Coats, Interim Head of Government Shared Services, and Chief Operating Officer of the Ministry of Justice said: “The shared services strategy for government sets clear direction, and I am pleased to have been part of its development. This will be step change in shared services across the government, directly supporting civil servants in their roles, while also contributing significant savings to the public purse.

“By allowing civil servants to spend less time doing administration, they can spend more time delivering vital services to the public.”

Excerpts from the new strategy include:

Splitting technology and service

This will drive efficiency by providing government with the flexibility to pursue shorter BPO contracts, use of multiple suppliers, and ultimately increase leverage with suppliers. Facilitates a more co-ordinated approach to additional shared services. The two objectives are implementing the new split, and delivering new ways of working. The Home Office project with Oracle Fusion is a pathfinder for this delivery model.

Adopting cloud software

This will lead to wider value across the lifetime of this strategy. For example, the Oracle Cloud Home Office pathfinder being extended to other departments enabling wider value to be achieved. Increasing the focus on software as a service facilitates a quicker and less resource-intensive upgrade process. Drives value for money for departments by providing greater control over technology and BPO providers.

Self service, robotics, and offshoring

Self-service will drive efficiency because end-users are empowered to complete appropriate activities themselves. Robotics automates repeatable tasks and allows processes to be completed with greater speed and accuracy. Offshoring will be determined based on compliance with relevant HMG and Departmental data security policy and relevant legislation and the offshoring arrangement will be assessed periodically to ensure ongoing compliance with said policies.

Technology to enable convergence

Technology Platforms will be consolidated to support standardisation of processes and data. Departments will adopt a cloud platform during the life of the strategy to drive process convergence and automation. Home office will pioneer the Oracle cloud pathway for other departments to join.

Developing three platforms for government

Departments will have a choice between Oracle, SAP, and a third modern flexible platform. As established ERP providers SAP and Oracle will create commercial tension and allow Government to demonstrate commercial leverage during negotiations. The third platform will provide a cheaper, flexible alternative for smaller departments.

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