5.4.5 Reviewing Shared Services

Shared Services have been identified as one of a number of ways in which institutions can become more agile. As such the opportunities offered by shared services, with typical benefits of streamlining and greater efficiency, should be considered within an institution’s strategic planning.

There are different approaches to shared services that may be explored and those most deployed in the HE sector include:

  • Sharing of specialist services delivered through third parties to different universities
  • Sharing of services that are provided within the institution.

The use of Enterprise Architecture for business and organisational change supports the identification and development of shared services.

The self-assessment seeks to identify if and how an institution has deployed Shared Services across the institution in response to developing more institutionally aligned ICT.

The key indicators of this include:

  1. The Senior Management Team and institutional senior management have an awareness and commitment to the use of Shared Services:
    1. by taking an approach that identifies the need as a service the Chief Information Officer is able to lead the evaluation of the most effective solution from possible alternatives. Such a process may deploy Enterprise Architecture to communicate and document the requirement in the wider institutional context and identify a Shared Service solution.
  2. ICT Services:
    1. maintain an awareness of the UK HE Shared Services market
    2. deploy Enterprise Architecture and a structured approach to evaluating the most effective solution. Shared services may be developed from the top down, an example of this has been found for Customer Relationship Management. Other requirements for services have been identified through the cost effective sharing of existing solutions such as Student Management
    3. other sources of ICT Services collaborate in the identification and evaluation of Shared Services
  3. Institutions have identified the business benefits in using Shared Services

More information is available within the knowledge base with particular reference to Section 2.8 ICT Shared Services.

Good Practice

The following are considered good practice in Shared Services:

  • Obtain senior management's buy-in and engagement with the vision and implementation of shared services
  • Use horizon scanning to identify and explore opportunities for shared services within the institution and across the sector
  • Develop a business case in the context of institutional & ICT strategies
  • Identify the current & future business requirements as a service requirement
  • Identify clear performance objectives and measurements for both the implementation and on-going operation of the service
  • For external shared services develop a business process change strategy including shared services governance and accountability, risk management and partner communications and management