Shared Services consolidate administrative functions in areas such as Finance, IT and Human Resources (HR) which allows organisations and Governments to focus their resources on core activities leading to administrative efficiency and reduced cost.
The implementation of Shared Services projects is not without risk, but where they are successfully implemented they achieve increased efficiencies and effective service delivery.
Shared Services programmes often arise from an economic or financial need to reduce costs and improve efficiency, and this was the case in Ireland in 2011.
However, private sector and international public sector experience illustrates that the value of Shared Services stretches beyond the direct benefits of cost savings and efficiency, to other benefits such as providing better management information for better decision making and the freeing up of senior management resources to focus on policy development over efforts related to transaction processing.
Shared Services delivers on the Government’s vision for change and the Irish Civil Service is well positioned to continue to learn from the experiences elsewhere in both the public and private sectors.
The benefits of implementing Shared Services include:
- Greater efficiency in service delivery through standardising and optimising business and transactional processes into one Shared Services operation
- Increased focus on ensuring consistent high quality customer service Working in new ways
- Utilising enabling technologies
- The provision of a real opportunity to drive workforce reforms that will support the civil service into the future
- Fostering of strategic capability which can drive capacity and capability building within organisations.
Taken together, these best practices are delivering better outcomes – in terms of service delivery, cost, transparency and accountability. They provide a foundation for a more efficient and effective public service.
Shared Services is also a positive source of foreign direct investment in Ireland. The IDA has produced a strategy for Shared Services (also called Global Business Services) for Ireland. You can read it Here
Shared Services Leaders Network
Shared Services in the Irish Public Service continues to grow and mature.
In 2012 the government mandated the use of Shared Services across the Irish Public Service. As a result there are Shared Service projects and operations in the sectors of Education, Health and Local Government in addition to the Civil Service. Shared Services projects are progressing within these sectors, in line with their individual Shared Services plans.
The NSSO has a leadership role in supporting the other public sector Shared Services offices and divisions as they advance their individual Shared Services plans. The Sectors Leaders Network, made up of the Shared Services leads from each the four sectors of Health, Local Government, Education and the Civil Service, meet regularly, working together to improve Shared Services delivery within the Public Service.
For more details on the progress made in the public service, please see our Annual Reports here NSSO Annual Report 2021