Shared Services/CoEs

The concept of a shared services and centres of excellence (CoEs) has been around since the 1980s - to reduce costs of low value, back-office activities such as payroll or accounting.

It consisted of centralising and standardising some common services in a single organisational structure, which were then charged back to internal clients.

This concept was adapted to IT activities in the late 1990s with the same objective of achieving economies of scale through centralised IT services, such as the management of a common IT infrastructure or the development of standardised applications. During 2000s the focus shifted towards greater outsourcing of these shared services to low cost countries to achieve even greater savings.

Given the current additional pressures on businesses to deliver greater efficiency savings, we have seen increased activity in relation to shared services. Clients with multiple operations are always exploring options to set up shared services. Shared services organisations, if established properly, could be powerful to achieving cost savings, process efficiency and even business transformation.

We have vast experience in successfully establishing and running IT shared service organisations. This typically includes assessment of the various options, from loose collaboration to fully merged and co-located service, cost benefit analysis, and qualitative benefits that might arise from a shared service, the potential risks and required structures and governance.