Modern public services: shared services. Bigger, cheaper, better?
Produced by: Socitm Insight
This report investigates the potential of shared services involving the ICT service and the practicalities for making them a reality.
The report illustrates the advice with a series of seven full case studies where achievements have been made plus six shorter ones of additional interest.
1 Case studies
There is nothing new about shared services, particularly those involving ICT. We look at a range of practical examples from the recent past in order to assess the potential for sharing and the lessons that we can learn, taking into account the different services, geography, participants, and priorities.
The case studies include;
- Warwickshire Direct Partnership
- Single Non-Emergency Number - Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
- Partnerships in Parking Programme (PiP)
- Surrey CC
- Connected Cumbria
- Local authorities in Shropshire
2 Potential for sharing
We analyse the possibilities for implementing shared services in both the back and front offices. In isolation, the potential economies of scale make a compelling case. However, there are good reasons why local government is responsible for local services. We make a pragmatic appraisal of the case for shared services.
3 Shared services and ICT
ICT services have instigated many approaches to sharing, and enabled sharing in other services. We look at sharing ICT, and beyond to the ways in which ICT can facilitate a larger scale and more comprehensive approach to sharing.
4 Taking shared services forward
In addition to determining the governance structures, choosing a delivery model, and considering private sector involvement, there are political concerns, both large 'P' and small 'p'. We provide comprehensive guidance on how to come to a decision, and then make progress along the chosen route.
5 The models for collaboration
We provide a range of models for establishing sharing arrangements, and indicate the relevant legal frameworks. We consider governance arrangements, and how public sector organisations might engage the private sector in their sharing arrangements.
6 Shared services in action
Creating a shared services arrangement is likely to be a complex and lengthy undertaking. It is vital to think about the many impacts of the procurement process to turn ideas into reality. We look at the practical steps necessary in order to make shared services happen.
We summarise our advice by identifying the key findings from this research. These all point to the conclusion that setting up a shared services undertaking is likely to be both complex and time-consuming because of the many parties involved .We provide a maturity grid to enable readers to assess the readiness of their own organisation for sharing services.
Last modified: 19th January 2010