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Accenture believes in the benefits shared services can deliver and in its pivotal role in transforming the delivery of administrative services in the public sector. However, our research has shown us that even governments that have implemented or are implementing shared services have many opportunities for improvement. Shared services is a long journey, and governments are clearly in the early stages of that journey. Realizing the full value of shared services comes from focusing and implementing both service management and continuous improvement as well as cost reduction. And so we offer this report—a baseline for governments to see what their peers are doing, leading practices uncovered from the research and our own advice based on extensive experience. Our hope is that we will begin to fill in the gaps in knowledge on a topic so critical to achieving high performance in government.
Four key findings emerged from our research:
We discuss each of these findings in greater detail in the full report.
Public-sector organizations that have already started to adopt shared services now need to move to the next step in the journey—maximizing the benefits they get from shared services. For them, benchmarking their shared services operations is the right next step in developing a strategy for optimization. For those governments that have not yet begun, we hope this report will convince them of the need to start on the path. Shared services is no longer an unproven concept in government, and there are successful examples and models in the public sector for them to emulate and learn from.
Shared services is not easy, but, as our research has found, it is well worth the effort. The leaders of shared services are already achieving stunning results in terms of cost savings, strategic benefits and improvements in the speed and quality of service, all of which translate into greater public-sector value. Their successes to date seem to make one point very clear: If you are not already thinking about moving to shared services for your organization, you probably should be.
December 9, 2011
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