A survey conducted with the support of SOCITM, the association for ICT professionals working in Local Authorities, the Public and Third Sectors and their suppliers, shows that:
- Nearly 64% of respondents rated strong leadership as essential
- Over 57% agreed that buy-in from the top was necessary
- 49% stated that good communication across the organisations involved was vital
The survey also reveals that between 20% and 34% of respondents are actively considering or planning a shared services implementation (across waste/recycling/street cleansing, ICT technical support, infrastructure and applications, or HR & payroll). It is seen as a viable way to achieve the cost savings required in the current financial climate, with operational savings and lower operating costs ranked the highest in terms of the benefits expected.
Ian Gates, divisional director at Capita, said: “We have seen from our own experience in supporting 25 shared services arrangements that having key senior individuals on board is the best way to communicate the benefits of the operating model to the rest of the workforce. Communication from above enables everyone involved to feel a sense of ownership, which can make or break a partnership. This style of visible leadership can also help when it comes to the question of accountability, where trust between all parties involved is key.”
The report also highlights some surprising revelations about the types of issues that are considered as ‘non essential’ to a successful shared services arrangement, which include:
- Similar cultures
- Geography (being physically close)
- Organisations which have the same political control and technological
Each of these components scored less than 10% in the ‘essential’ category, suggesting that there are few boundaries to a successful partnership if all parties involved work towards similar outcomes, such as cost and time savings or an increase in service levels.
Paul Taylor, director of change & communities at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, part of the Mid-Kent Improvement Partnership, added: “Shared services continue to represent just one option for organisations and the decision to enter such a model should never be taken lightly. We undertook a thorough assessment before deciding whether or not to use software to underpin an in-house service delivery, or go down the full outsourcing arrangements with the private sector. We believe that we made the right decision, not just for us as an organisation but for our customers and in the first year, we hope to see a more responsive and resilient service. Additionally we will introduce a more complete online offering giving customers more choice as to when and how they access services, meeting both the changing customer expectation and organisational need to develop migration to lower cost automated services.”
To request a copy of the report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org