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On the 7th of April 2016, the SAP Institute for Digital Government (SIDG) held an event in the executive roundtable series, which explored the impact of digital technology on shared services in government. An exposure draft paper on this topic was prepared by the Institute and this formed the basis of discussion.

The event was attended by a diverse group of private and public sector organisations, allowing a dynamic discussion on the challenges and opportunities towards implementing shared services in the digital era.

Auckland City Council’s ex CIO Mike Foley addressed the audience and shared his insights from the amalgamation of eight local government areas into one city administration. As part of this exercise, Auckland city now has the capacity to provide shared services to other councils throughout New Zealand.

Digital shared services moves beyond the model of ‘your mess for less.’ It offers a value-adding proposition through the use of advanced analytics and insight to drive new service offerings which can enhance the business outcomes of the client organisations. The barriers for entering a shared services arrangement seem to be locked in an old business model where control and ownership of resources is sometimes more important than the outcome. The digital world offers organisations the ability to have control over their business outcomes without the need to wear the full cost of the resources.

Government organisations often have a conservative view of shared services focused on back office business processes such as HR, finance, procurement and IT. Enlightened organisations are looking for providers who can deliver frontend service capabilities that have a frictionless connection to the backend services.

The participants concluded that there is a lack of a burning platform for change. It is therefore important for shared services providers to create the impetus for change through value creation rather than simply offering to take cost out of the business. The answer to these questions will be explored further in our discussion paper which will be released towards the end of Q2.

If you would like to contribute or discuss, or would a copy of the exposure draft paper, please contact us at digitalgovernment@sap.com.

To find out more about the SAP Institute for Digital Government visit http://discover.sap.com/sap-institute-for-digital-government, follow us on Twitter @sapsidg and email us at digitalgovernment@sap.com.

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