Budget reductions are resulting in the public sector putting increasing focus on efficiency and waste reduction. Recent media coverage has shone a light on the funding ‘black holes’ and deficits across the UK, making the public more aware of the need for significant improvements to efficiency within this sector. The previous Spending Review and subsequent revisions did not achieve the results needed, which is why public service managers must look for more innovative means of making savings. With this rising pressure, decision makers must reconsider their working strategies to find better ways of working and implement change.
By concentrating attention to organisational improvement, decision makers can show themselves and their organisation as an example of what is achievable, and the steps needed to get there. This is crucial for the public sector in particular as the nature of this field means that the public are in constant reliance for fast and effective service. Back-office processes and systems are instrumental in this journey to a better-organised and more proficient workplace – not only as a potential source of greater operational efficiency, but also as a front office enabler - an engine of operational intelligence about where the money goes, where productivity is best and worst, and where the main sources of waste exist today.
To be able to improve effectiveness, an organisation needs:
> Good visibility of spending, results and how this compares against the best benchmarks – supported by readily-accessible, reliable and complete data which tells the whole story, and the ability to analyse and extrapolate from it. Enabling administrators to grant access to specific applications through activation keys
> Greater collaboration – pooling systems, resources and intelligence so that more can be achieved and at greater speed, with less. Snapshot, real-time analytics of mobile usage and transactions awaiting approval
> Improved agility - old, legacy systems are preventing organisations from seeing the bigger picture, or delving deeper into the detail. Centralised or hosted systems could offer improved flexibility, visibility and insight, but without high licence and maintenance costs
As technology develops, the public becomes increasingly expectant of a faster, more agile service. The more resources that can be pooled with other teams and peer organisations, the greater the scope for sharing costs - and the benefits of shared knowledge, insight and best practice. This highlights the importance of business planning in pushing your organisation forward. The increased efficiencies that shared services provide may be the way to do this.
For further insight into back office shared services download our latest white paper Shared Success through Shared Services.