The community for leaders in finance shared services
Keywords: shared services, finance shared services, public sector, private sector
Matthew Garrow-Fisher | News | 6 March 2012
The private sector seems to be much more convinced of the benefits of shared services than the public sector, with adoption in the latter seemingly lagging behind that in the former.
Strategic advisor and independent commentator John Tizard believes the "rhetoric" of shared service has "far outpaced the reality" among public bodies, and that there are several reasons for this.
In an article for publicservice.co.uk, he said some are political, while others are the result of self-preservation among professional managers.
In some cases, the original vision of the shared services project was simply too complex to deliver, or the business case just did not make sense in practice, he noted.
This is not to say that shared services cannot work in the public sector. As Mr Tizard explains, there are some "excellent" examples of successful initiatives, such as that between South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse district councils.
"Within Whitehall and the wider central government family there are examples of shared services making a difference," he added.
The key, according to the former director at the Centre for Public Service Partnerships, is to see shared services as something beyond finance, IT and human resources.
"A shared approach can be applied to a much wider range of activities and assets than those used to deliver support services," he remarked.
"The sharing of specialist staff and specialist services can enable individual agencies and authorities to have access to people and resources that on their own they would struggle to afford or be able to attract and retain high quality personnel."
Mr Tizard said he sees shared services becoming increasingly important to the public sector in the months and years ahead as the reality of government spending cuts hits home.
And he predicted that the emphasis will be on mutualism, with public bodies enjoying mutual benefits by working together in a shared services environment.
Webinar 30.05.2013 Register
Webinar 05.06.2013 Register
White paper & report09.05.2013
White paper & report07.05.2013
White paper & report03.05.2013
White paper & report22.04.2013
By submitting this form you will become a sharedserviceslink.com member. Members receive our weekly newsletter, and communications about sharedserviceslink.com products and services. See the full membership benefits here.