Shared Services

Article Index
Shared Services
Shared Service Benefits and Challenges
Shared Services Challenges
The Business of Shared Services
Management and the People Perspective
Shared Service Delivery
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The New Era of Shared Services

Service Delivery Evolution

Ongoing requirements to improve service delivery, while at the same time trying to manage overall budgets that never seem to have enough money to cover all requests for government services, are forcing governments to re-examine their service delivery models. The Canadian Federal Government is no exception, and in its case, it has been putting renewed focus on shared service delivery models. These models provide opportunity and need to be carefully examined in terms of the best approach for their applicability, from both the service provider as well as the end-users' or clients' perspectives.

Figure 1: Shared Services Interfaces

IdeasSharedServicesFig1

Shared services arrangements are designed to achieve efficiencies by using a single organization to provide a service to multiple departments and agencies, (i.e., clients), rather than requiring each of them to have their own capacity to provide that service. In our Federal Government, shared services concepts have been prevalent for years. The conventional back-office centralized shared services exist in Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), which has had a long history in this area ranging from mainframe data centre support services, to procurement support, to telecommunications provisioning, to real property services, to leading edge concepts such as the evolving Secure Channel infrastructure project.

Similarly, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) has been providing central policy, budgets and expenditure management, and program planning support in a number of areas. These include such things as the Financial Administration Act (FAA), support for the implementation of accrual based accounting, and expenditure management systems. There are also evolving shared services such as cluster support for core corporate and administrative enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and even the potential for common business process support. Shared services also exist at the citizen service delivery interface. The Government On-Line (GOL) initiatives consider ‘e’-enabling service delivery, ideally with a common or shared look and feel to citizen transaction processing that crosses the conventionally departmental, or even jurisdictional, or organizational boundaries. These initiatives would support such things as common government wide internet portals or shared call centres.

Given the significance of the citizen end-user, the confluence of these service delivery areas at the citizen interface is potentially a more important, and sometimes overlooked shared service opportunity.




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