By John Andrews, Director, Solution Marketing Management, Axway
Before the world jumped on the cloud, there was shared services — a concept that, while it may not describe the current trend, is still relevant and important.
Shared services has long suffered from an identity crisis. Ask five people in IT what it is, and you’ll get five similar yet different answers, which is actually a bigger problem than having five completely different answers!
If we want to discuss what a shared service really is, we need to establish a definition. I arrive upon my definition by combining the definition of “share” and “service.”
- Share: “have a portion of (something) with another or others”
- Service: “the action of helping or doing work for someone”
In enterprise-technology terms, then, a shared service is a system (or systems) that provides functionality that helps others do work.
It’s admittedly generic, and maybe not that meaningful, but it is a basis for establishing what a shared service really is.
Are shared services important? Yes. Shared services offer benefits that are similar to those offered by internal cloud deployments or internal hosted services:
- An overall cost reduction for the organization
- A consistent method of delivery functionality
- A way to help employees focus on tasks better suited to their skill sets
What kind of functionality makes sense as a shared service? There are obvious things like HR functionality. Another one that is obvious but less implemented is a managed file transfer shared service. An MFT shared service provides more functionality than a departmental-managed solution.
The benefits of a properly implemented shared service greatly outweigh the drawbacks. What does it take to implement a shared service? Join the Axway webinar on shared services and learn from someone who’s done it.