2.8.3 How are shared services used in HE?

Although the current number of shared services in HE is small there are some successful examples, ranging from national bodies running infrastructure services such as the JISC itself, to consortium type arrangements between institutions sharing a mix of services, and to research and teaching arrangements amongst institutions. Examples of successful models include:

  • Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS)
  • The JANET Network. Its success was recognized by winning the shared services category of the e-Government National Awards 2007
  • Research Councils UK (RCUK) Shared Services Centre Project - probably the largest shared service initiative in the sector and providing economies of scale by covering all seven Research Councils, HR, payroll, finance, procurement, IT, telecommunications and grants processing
  • Shared service models within an institution are proving equally successful in providing additional and improved services and lowering costs. For example: Relationship Management solutions - procured at an enterprise level may be configured and implemented across functions such as marketing and enquiries, applications, alumni and partnership management. The benefits accrue in the quality and sharing of data, lack of duplication, as well as implementation and operational cost savings
  • There is clearly a range of different SS models and potential services that can be developed within the HE sector. However, these can be complex and their exploration and development using a business case and business process change management techniques will help in realising sound business opportunities. JISC provide guidance for managers considering shared services within their JISC InfoNet Shared Services infoKit22