In a competitive environment, companies continuously innovate to offer superior services at lower costs. ‘Shared services’ have been extensively adopted in practice as one means for improving organisational performance. Shared services is considered most appropriate for support functions, and is widely adopted in Human Resource Management, Finance and Accounting; more recently being employed across the Information Systems function. IS applications and infrastructure are an important enabler and driver of shared services in all functional areas. As computer based corporate information systems have become de facto and the internet pervasive and increasingly the backbone of administrative systems, the technical impediments to sharing have come down dramatically. As this trend continues, CIOs and IT professionals will need a deeper understanding of the shared services phenomenon and its implications. The advent of shared services has consequential implications for the IS academic discipline. Yet, archival analysis of IS the academic literature reveals that shared services, though mentioned in more than 100 articles, has received little in depth attention. This paper is the first attempt to investigate and report on the current status of shared services in the IS literature. The paper presents detailed review of literature from main IS journals and conferences, findings evidencing a lack of focus and definitions and objectives lacking conceptual rigour. The paper concludes with a tentative operational definition, a list of perceived main objectives of shared services, and an agenda for related future research.
Miskon, Suraya; Bandara, Wasana; Fielt, Erwin; and Gable, Guy, "Understanding Shared Services: An Exploration of the IS Literature" (2009). ACIS 2009 Proceedings. 68.