Stimulated by recent advances in information and communication technology, and in their continuous pursuit for ways to reduce costs while at the same time improving customer orientation, public agencies have started to share services. By unbundling services of multiple public agencies, standardizing these services, and concentrating them in a separate organization, the basic premise of shared services seems to be that services provided by one local department or agency can be provided to others with relatively few efforts, potentially resulting in both cost savings and service quality improvements (Bergeron, 2003). Public agencies share their role as service provider by joint development, operation, control, and governance of services. As such, the sharing of services can be viewed as a particular type of sourcing arrangement. Services remain within public administration, and public agencies control and govern the shared-service arrangement.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Change Management Strategy: A change management strategy is the plan for the development of a program and procedure for ensuring the fulfillment of intended functions or services.
Risk: Risk is an undesired outcome that has a known or estimated probability of occurrence and impact based on experience or some theory.
IT Governance: IT governance is the system and structure for defining policy and monitoring and controlling the policy implementation, and managing and coordinating the procedures and resources aimed at ensuring the efficient and effective execution of services.
Shared Service: Shared services are services that are shared by multiple users and provided by one service provider.
Sourcing: Sourcing is the decision process of identifying and selecting potential internal or external suppliers of specified services.
Shared-Service Center (SSC): The SSC is a type of business model in which selected services are unbundled and concentrated into an accountable, semiautonomous unit or organization that provides the predefined services to all local, decentralized agencies on the basis of agreed conditions.
Business Process: A business process is a sequence of tasks initiated by an event and aimed at providing products or services.
Strategic Determinant: A strategic determinant is an influencing or determining element or factor in a decision choice.
E-Intermediary: An electronic intermediary is a (semi)autonomous organization that supports other organizations in coordinating their activities.