Consumers always want more FOR less. Businesses are continually challenged to do more WITH less. As Information Technology (IT) continues to grow in importance with virtually every business, regardless of size or industry focus, and as technology continues to drive to a commodity instead of boutique service, many see IT as a business area primed to take a leadership role in the evolution of the shared services model.
Simply put, shared services is a model wherein an organization unites multiple departments and services under one team. For example, a hospital, fire station, and police station all work hand in hand when an emergency arrises, one team bringing together several business units. A shared services model takes that same idea in your organization, where IT, accounting, and HR (for example) come together under one roof to determine who is most accountable for the requested service, creating greater efficiency and a higher level of collaboration.
Business leaders today recognize the need for integrated organizations that can seamlessly connect and collaborate without regard for location. Companies have employees, business units, subsidiaries, vendors, and clients around the globe, and are open for business 24/7/365. Yet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be the market leader in your chosen line of business and be a first class technology company at the same time. In light of the ever increasing threat of cyber attacks, nothing short of top shelf technology and IT staff will be able to get the job done.
With regulatory oversight what it is, many core functions in various departments are more focused on compliance to the regulations than they are on being a differentiator to make your company stand out, except for IT. From the very beginning IT has been held to the highest standard of compliance with the greatest need for meeting customer demands. Because of this, they are primed and ready to lead a shared services model within an organization. Shared services aggregates common or transactional activities into a consolidated stand-alone integrated service businesses, which are utilized by a number of individual departments in-house.
Two key benefits of this are cost reductions and improved performance. Shared services is focused on the service provided, and can drive continuous improvements to get more WITH less from the core business. The traditional shared services model within your company walls has served large corporations and municipal governments for years, while the outsourced services provider market has been key for small businesses. Now, globally enabled in-house shared services companies can improve cost and performance for any enterprise, and are not limited to just particular processes like HR or accounting. They can include the entire IT infrastructure. IT service providers are well positioned to lead the way in shared services.