Public Services > Central Government

Cabinet Office launches new government shared services strategy

David Bicknell Published 10 January 2018

Strategy said to require substantive negotiation with SSCL, building of internal capability and use of self-service, robotics and offshoring; will also see Oracle Cloud Home Office pathfinder being extended to other departments


The Cabinet Office has launched a new shared services strategy across government which it hopes will save millions of pounds by 2028. 

The strategy aims to improve civil servants’ interactions with government back office services and has been designed to support a Civil Service where civil servants can “seamlessly” move between departments and roles.

The strategy is focused on moving to cloud technology to drive more value and efficiency for the taxpayer, promoting simpler back office processes across departments supported by automation.

A newly formed government shared services unit from within the Cabinet Office will deliver the strategy, working in collaboration with all government departments.

According to the strategy, the spend on shared services across government is significant, and future savings are predicted to be in line with the business case outlined in 2013. But if government was to implement this strategy “with impetus”, around 10%-15% of further savings could be achieved over the life of the roadmap. Further savings could be delivered through an increase in offshoring.

The strategy suggests that a key driver for success will be process convergence.

It says, “As shared service technology trend moves to cloud and automation, it requires a split between business process outsourcing (BPO) provider and technology to expedite a reduced BPO.”

To deliver value, the strategy will see a splitting of technology and service with the intention of driving efficiency by providing government with the flexibility to pursue shorter BPO contracts, use multiple suppliers, and ultimately increase leverage with suppliers.

They strategy is said to require a more co-ordinated approach to additional shared services and that is likely to mean a substantive negotiation with SSCL and the building of internal capability. The Home Office’s project with Oracle Fusion is regarded as a “pathfinder” for the new delivery model.

The strategy will also see an increased focus on software as a service to facilitate a quicker and less resource-intensive upgrade process and greater use of self service, robotics, and offshoring. The strategy argues that self-service will drive efficiency because end users are empowered to complete appropriate activities themselves; robotics automates repeatable tasks and allows processes to be completed with greater speed and accuracy; while offshoring will be determined based on compliance with relevant government and departmental data security policies and relevant legislation.

Discussing the strategy, Matthew Coats, interim head of government shared services, and chief operating officer of the Ministry of Justice said: “The shared services strategy for government sets clear direction, and I am pleased to have been part of its development. This will be step change in shared services across the government, directly supporting civil servants in their roles, while also contributing significant savings to the public purse.

“By allowing civil servants to spend less time doing administration, they can spend more time delivering vital services to the public.”


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