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Benefits of shared services

Bill Emmett and Atwell Williams | Aug. 3, 2010
How shared services and business service management help you deliver increased value to your customers

Leverage business service management

As previously stated, the goal of shared services programmes is to provide consistent service quality and delivery to multiple business departments across the enterprise. Implicit in this goal are the objectives of delivering business-critical services and achieving cost efficiency.

These objectives form the underlying principle of business service management (BSM), a comprehensive and unified platform that simultaneously optimises IT costs, demonstrates transparency, increases business value, controls risk, and assures quality of service. BSM simplifies, standardises, and automates IT processes, so you can efficiently manage business services throughout their lifecycle across distributed, mainframe, virtual, and cloud-based resources. BSM helps to provide a clear understanding of the services offered while also promoting increased simplification, standardisation, and automation.

Effective shared service delivery requires process standardisation. The multiple process models that may have been in place prior to consolidation will need to be reconciled into a single, consistent approach. A framework, such as the IT infrastructure library (ITIL), is a good starting point for achieving process consistency. While going through your consolidation exercise, use this chance to simplify the resulting processes and then look for opportunities to automate as many as those processes as possible. Finally, leverage technology solutions that support your standardised processes and enable the areas of automation youve identified.  

Closing thoughts

Your IT organisation needs to remain competitive and deliver business value, especially with the growth of services being offered through cloud computing. How can your IT organisation provide services better and at a lower cost than the competition? One answer is through a shared services approach. By truly understanding business requirements and managing IT based on business priorities, your IT organisation is already a step ahead. Leveraging a BSM approach establishes a firm foundation not only for improved business support and increased cost efficiencies, but also for the adoption of a shared services delivery model.

Bill Emmett, senior manager in BMCs strategic marketing organisation, has been a practitioner, innovator, and marketing leader in the IT management software industry for nearly 15 years.

Atwell Williams is a solutions architect within BMC Softwares Office of the CTO, where he focuses on ITIL and other best-practice frameworks for improving IT processes.


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