Shared services sector employs 35,000 across 100 centres

9 Dec 2009

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With companies like HP, Apple, Whirlpool, SAP and McAfee continuing to invest substantially in shared services centres, this market continues to be a strategic area for Ireland’s inward investment hopes and an area in which the country could lead the world.

IDA Ireland said yesterday at its Shared Services Centre (SSC) Forum that the ongoing collaboration between Irish-based global shared services companies continues to ensure Ireland plays a leading international role in the development of the sector.

The forum, which took place in the Conrad Hotel, was attended by key international players, such as Apple, Whirlpool, SAP and McAfee, along with several indigenous companies.

What the group does

The group is the leading industry representative body in Ireland for global business centres, and works to encourage the sharing of learning and experiences.

Liaising closely with government agencies, including IDA Ireland, it focuses on networking and collaboration in areas of best international practice, to ensure Ireland remains at the leading edge of global standards.

Speaking at the event, the forum chairman, Tony Breen, who is also director of shared services for PepsiCo Ireland, said shared services organisations are facing many challenges as they continue to evolve.

“The use of benchmarking is increasingly being adopted by shared services centres to ensure that their operating model remains competitive.

“Already many Irish centres have won significant corporate mandates to design and own global functions, ensuring they are central to the future of the company’s international business,” Breen said.

Strategic component of Irish economy

Rory Mullen, manager in charge of Globally Traded Business at IDA Ireland, explained that the shared services sector in Ireland is a key strategic component of our economy, with more than 100 centres employing 35,000 people.

“Ireland not only offers an educated, skilled workforce, excellent track record of reputable service centres, a flexible workforce and favourable business environment, but it also facilitates industry collaboration to ensure Ireland continues to perform well and remains an attractive location for further investment in the global shared services sector,” Mullen said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The ongoing collaboration between Irish-based global shared services companies continues to ensure Ireland plays a leading international role in the development of the sector, IDA Ireland has said at its Shared Services Centre Forum.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com