Govern Shared Services

Find the optimal path to shared services governance.

Your Challenge

  • IT managers have come under increasing pressure to cut costs, and implementing shared services has become a popular demand from the business.
  • Business unit resistance to a shared services implementation can derail the project.
  • Shared services rearranges responsibilities within existing IT departments, potentially leaving no one accountable for project success and causing cost overruns and service performance failures.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Over one-third of shared services implementations increase IT costs, due to implementation failures. Ineffective governance plays a major role in the breakdown of shared services, particularly when it does not overcome stakeholder resistance or define clear areas of responsibility.
  • Effective governance of a shared services implementation requires the IT leader to find the optimal combination of independence and centralization for the shared service provider.
  • Three primary models exist for governing shared services: entrepreneurial, mandated, and market-based. Each one occupies a different location in the trade-off of independence and centralization. The optimal model for a specific situation depends on the size of the organization, the number of participants, the existing trend towards centralization, and other factors.

Impact and Result

  • Find the optimal governance model for your organization by weighing the different likely benefits and costs of each path.
  • Assign appropriate individual responsibilities to participants, so you can effectively scope your service offering and fund your implementation.
  • Support the governance effort effectively using published Info-Tech tools and templates.


  • Barry-Wehmiller
  • CP Partners
  • Convergent Technology Solutions
  • County of Orange
  • Effectus
  • Government of Alberta
  • Kingspan
  • Vale
  • An additional 9 companies contributed to this research. Due to the sensitivity of the information, their identities will be kept confidential.

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See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

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Get to Action

  1. Understand each of the governance models and what each entails

    Build a plan for governing an implementation.

  2. Choose the optimal approach to shared services governance

    Maximize the net benefit conferred by governance.

Guided Implementation Icon Talk to an Analyst

Our analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

  • Book an Analyst Call on this topic. You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process in your first call.
  • Get advice from a subject matter expert. Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and setting the direction for your next project step.

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Search Code: 44783
Published: July 5, 2011
Last Revised: July 5, 2011

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