ACT Government Department of Shared Services Delivers Transparency to Stakeholders.

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On every occasion that we have gone back and done a market scan or test, ClearCost has always come out way ahead of its competitors. It’s about where it sits in relation to how much it costs versus what it delivers. We have seen an extremely positive return on investment through the use of ClearCost.
— Ross Burton,
Chief Financial Officer,
Department of Shared Services,
ACT Government

ACT Government, Department of Shared Services, required a solution to their existing chargeback and costings structure.

The Client

Shared Services ACT, one of the Australian Capital Territory Government’s critical service delivery groups, was established in 2007 to provide the territory government with a more efficient way of delivering core corporate and IT services across its directorates and agencies. The range of services provided by Shared Services falls under a number of corporate functions, including ICT, HR, and Finance.

The Challenge

Proving the department’s cost efficiency in its early days was extremely difficult due to the lack of structure and appropriate tools.

When the ICT function was originally centralised, the team faced immense pressure to provide justification for the fees they were charging for their services, which were perceived to be higher than those of their competitors.

At the time, this was difficult to provide accurately as the majority of their cost tracking was done through Excel spreadsheets, which lacked the analytics and auditability capabilities they desperately needed.

The department knew that a much more structured approach to their charging, chargeback, and costings was needed, so they began to explore the market for a suitable solution. After extensive evaluation, ClearCost was chosen as the provider of choice.

The Goal

To provide Shared Services ACT with a robust ITFM solution to provide transparency into their service costs to enable informed decision making and assist with stakeholder engagement and management.

The Solution

ClearCost was the only solution provider that offered both value for money and a personal approach.

After initially being implemented within the ICT function and proving invaluable in providing a great deal of structure, the ClearCost team took it a step further and assisted the department in a benchmarking project in order to provide a definitive point of reference against which they could evaluate their own charges.

With ClearCost’s software and professional services, the ICT department was able to prove definitively that their charges were within 5% of competitors, year-on-year.

When Shared Services was formed in 2007, ClearCost, as well as the framework that had been developed to date with ClearCost’s support, were rolled out across all other Shared Services functions, including HR, Finance, and Procurement.

The partnership with ClearCost has allowed Shared Services to:

• Gain granular visibility into all software and systems used across the department, and what each is costing them.
• Successfully transition from on-premises to cloud solution, as well as a reduction in the number of solutions used across the board, which gradually lead to significant cost reductions in that area.
• Gain valuable visibility into service costs vs actual charges, allowing them to identify the profitable and non-profitable services in order to justify departmental restructuring and changes.
• Improved stakeholder engagement both internally and externally and across all levels, allowing for deeper accountability of each service owner/provider, and driving more efficiency.

The Results

Shared Services ACT has gained a robust IT Financial Management solution and an invaluable ITFM partner to transform their entire department.

For over a decade, ClearCost has been there to support the department, first as a standalone ICT function and later as the complete Shared Services Department, both with purpose-built technology and essential industry insights.

With ClearCost’s support, the department was able to provide greater visibility into its costs to internal customers, showing beyond doubt that their service charges were accurate and competitive.

They also managed to improve their efficiency and profitability even further across many areas, by evaluating their existing system costs and services costs, and addressing any inefficiencies.

Finally, wider visibility into the data and reporting allowed each service area to take true ownership and accountability for their service.

ClearCost’s true value add comes not only from their technical expertise, but also from their industry expertise. Their product has been widely used by a number of organisations, and having them bring back those insights - where the industry is going, the taxonomy that is being utilised by other organisations, etc. – is invaluable. Rather than just saying here’s a tool that you can use, actually assisting you with utilising it within the industry norms, and providing you with that framework to get the best out of it for your organisation. There is so much more potential there, I think ClearCost has been able to provide that to us.
— Ross Burton,
Chief Financial Officer,
Department of Shared Services,
ACT Government

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