A-Z Popular Blog Strategy Search »
Business Strategy
Related Guides
Strategy Basics
Key Concepts
Competitive Advantage

Competitive Disadvantage

Strategic Planning

8 Examples of Shared Services

 , updated on
A shared service is a capability that is centralized within an organization or group. The capability is wrapped in a service with a well defined service contract with the expectation that all teams use the service unless they can justify a reason to go their own way. Shared services are a common operational strategy designed to reduce costs by eliminating repetition of effort. By providing a service in one place, there is an opportunity to optimize and standardize it at scale. The following are illustrative examples of shared services.

Human Resources

Business capabilities such as human resources are commonly run as a shared service. This allows an organization to manage risks such as legal or compliance risks from one center of competency.

Information Technology

Operational capabilities such as an internal IT department. Allowing business units to go outside of IT and deal with technology vendors directly has a variety of risks as business units may not have the capabilities to manage things like architecture, compliance, data and information security.

Help Desk

Providing a single point of contact for information technology support and inquiries.

Data Centers

Specialized facilities such as data centers can be wrapped in a service contract and operated using IT service management frameworks.

Project Management Office

Internal consultancies such as a project management office that provides consistent program and project management using a set of methodologies.

Information Security

Information security is often centralized and offered as a service. For example, information security may offer consulting, security testing and incident response services.


Offering technology tools such as mobile devices that are standardized across an organization.


Offering platforms such as cloud platforms or database services in one place across an organization or team.
Overview: Shared Services
Business Strategy
Operational Strategy
Definition (1)
Doing something in one place that was previously replicated in many places across an organization.
Definition (2)
A centralized business function or capability that is wrapped in a service contract with the expectation that it be used by an entire organization or group.
Cost reduction by reducing duplication of effort.
Achieving economies of scale.
Improving quality of services with standard methodologies and service level objectives.
Shared services can represent a bottleneck and single point of failure. In many cases, duplicating the same service in many places has resiliency advantages.
Shared services initiatives tend to be painful from a change management and project management perspective. They commonly run over budget.
There is overhead in having all teams rely on an external team for a critical service. In many cases, teams are most productive when they have control.
A tendency for shared services to become inflexible and bureaucratic in imposing standards, technologies and processes across an organization.
Related Concepts

Business Strategy

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business strategy.
Added Value
Advertising Strategy
Algorithmic Pricing
Bargaining Power
Bricks And Clicks
Business Development
Business Environment
Business Goals
Business Models
Business Objectives
Business Outcomes
Business Scale
Business Strategy
Business Transformation
Camping Strategy
Channel Strategy
Club Goods
Communication Strategy
Competitive Advantage
Competitive Intelligence
Complementary Goods
Cost Advantage
Cost Reduction
Cost Strategy
Critical Success Factors
Customer Analysis
Customer Service
Cut And Run
Defensive Publication
Designer Label
Digital Maturity
Distinctive Capability
Do Nothing Strategy
Economic Moat
Economies Of Scale
Fail Often
Fail Well
Innovation Culture
Inventive Step
Long Tail
Management Strategy
Market Development
Market Maker
Market Research
Marketing Experimentation
Mass Customization
Operational Efficiency
Plateau Effect
Point Of No Return
Price Discrimination
Price Leadership
Pricing Strategy
Product Strategy
Promotion Strategy
Razor And Blades
Relative Advantage
Resistance To Change
Risk Management
Sales Strategy
Ship Often
Strategic Advantage
Strategic Communication
Strategic Drivers
Strategic Planning
Strategic Vision
Strategy Failure
Strategy Monitoring
Strategy Risk
Target Market
Test Marketing
Trade Dress
Trade Secrets
Turnaround Strategy
Two Sided Market
Types Of Strategy
Voice Of The Customer
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Business Strategy

An extensive list of business strategies.


A reasonably comprehensive guide to strategy.

Baseline vs Benchmark

The difference between a baseline and a benchmark.

Strategy vs Tactics

A definition of strategy vs tactics with two examples.

Competitive Advantage

A few sources of competitive advantage for businesses.

Macro Environment

A list of macro environment components.

Competitive Advantage vs Distinctive Capability

The difference between competitive advantage and distinctive capability.

Do Nothing Strategy

An overview of a common business strategy.


A definition of restructuring with examples.


A guide to management techniques.

Strategic Planning

A list of techniques for developing and implementing a strategy.


The basics of productivity.

Project Management

A guide to project management.

Internal Benchmarking

The common types of internal benchmarking.

Internal Customer

A definition of internal customer with examples.

Business Optimization

A definition of business optimization with examples.

Team Objectives

The common types of team objective.

Internal Stakeholders

A definition of internal stakeholder with examples.

Management Planning

An overview of the different types of management planning.

Management Examples

A definition of management with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map