The Sharing Services Ruse

If you want to see another example of the nonsense of ‘shared services’ as always delivering cost-savings and efficiencies, please read this Recorder article on sharing IT services between city and county:

The Amsterdam Common Coun-cil’s Shared Services Committee is considering an agreement with Montgomery County’s Data Processing Department to manage informational technology support in city buildings.

The flaws with this ‘shared services’ agreement are as follows:

1) The County is not sharing services– they are billing the city for services. There does not appear to be anything resembling economies of scale or cost reduction as a shared service. It’s not sharing services, it’s the county contracting workers to the city and setting up servers in the city.

2) If we want to seriously cut costs or address core IT issues like security and worker productivity, then what the city and county should do is go to a managed service via a third party for key IT systems such as email, accounting, etc. For the county and city to claim that managing email servers is a wonderous shared service when most enterprises go to third parties for faster, more secure and less expensive management of that service is ridiculous. This is the ruse of shared services — instead of rethinking or reengineering the operation or business process to improve performance and cost, you ‘share’ the inefficiencies instead getting neither the service improvement nor the potential cost savings.

This approach, like most shared services thinking, is nonsensical. Which means, of course, that it will be way forward.

 

 

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