We blogged a few weeks ago about shared service at BAESystems, so it was interesting to come across this article summarising research into this phenomenon written by Herbert and Oshri (2015), two academics specialising in this field. They conducted a survey of 150 managers who had direct responsibility for firms’ shared services centres (SSCs). The key finding was the diversity of such SSCs – not just in terms of the functions that were shared, but also the job titles of the managers that managed them, the aims that they had, and the actual outcomes that were being achieved.
In the sample of companies investigated six main functions had been centralised in some or all of them. In order of frequency these were finance and accounting, human resources, procurement, I.T., data management and application development & maintenance. These last two have emerged recently (as an outcome of i4.0) and been clearly separated from the I.T. function.