The Crucial Role of Shared Services for Digital Transformation in Mining 

November 27, 2023

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The duplication or misalignment of services within a mining company across multiple departments can quickly lead to inefficient work streams, delayed operations and unnecessary downtime. This is particularly problematic when departments continue to work within siloes, often unaware of ongoings elsewhere in the organization.

This situation becomes a further complication when the organization attempts to execute digital transformation projects, but management is unable to move forward when a large portion of data is hidden and inaccessible within disparate parts of the organization.

As mining operations are often dispersed across geographically remote areas, oversight across all functions can be particularly challenging, and left unchecked can result in business function leaders stepping in to fill the gaps in operations haphazardly.

As such, shared services within organizations are often deployed by management as a solution to combat this scenario in a more proactive, organized way.

What are Shared Services?

Shared services essentially function as an organization within an organization, where support services are centralized to serve all business functions simultaneously. With shared resources, execution of tasks and data centralization, businesses can move forward with digital transformation projects confidently, now with the assurance that they have the complete picture of all the initiatives happening within their organization.

Examples of Traditional Shared Services Departments

Traditionally, shared services have been mostly used for HR, IT, and Finance. However, most mining organizations can also benefit from other services being centralized, including Procurement, Project Management and Data Analytics.

How Mining Companies Can Benefit from Shared Services Departments

The benefits mining companies can leverage from shared services for successful digital transformation are vast. By creating a designated service arm for certain functions, better oversight can be achieved with a bird’s eye view of mining operations, creating a strong foundation for improved decision-making, standardization and scalability.

Drive Strategic Decision-Making with Data Centralization

With newer technologies and trends happening in the mining industry such as predictive analytics in maintenance or the use of digital twins to recreate mine sites, mining companies need to be equipped with the data needed to drive strategic decision-making for change initiatives.

With shared services, top management can gain a holistic view of an organization’s performance, consolidating data and reports from various departments to understand trends that inform their digital transformation projects.

This structure also allows the effective integration of technology platforms and tools across departments, ensuring data siloes are avoided. For example, a shared IT service can standardize the use of software and hardware, making it easier to manage, support and update technology infrastructure.

Standardization of Processes, Specializations and Workflows

Shared services promote the standardization of processes and procedures across different departments, leading to greater consistency in how tasks are performed and reducing errors and inconsistencies. This often involves the reengineering of workflows to make them more efficient for faster processing times, improved service quality, and reduced bottlenecks.

As a result, departments that previously had to handle a wide range of tasks may become more specialized in their core functions, cultivating higher expertise and better service delivery. With this centralized expertise, such as for legal or compliance, knowledge can be accessed and leveraged when needed much more easily, fostering an environment with the open sharing of information.

Scalability, Cost Savings and Effective Growth Management

Shared services can create higher employee productivity by removing the need for employees to handle routine and administrative tasks, instead, creating a designated shared service for these tasks. With resources and time freed up for different departments to focus more on strategic activities, ultimately the value and growth employees bring to the company increases significantly.

As mining companies continue to grow or take on new digital transformation initiatives, shared services can be scaled up or down as needed, providing flexibility and adaptability to the organization’s evolving needs. By consolidating certain functions like data analytics and IT, companies can reduce duplicative efforts, cut down on overhead costs, and achieve economies of scale. This allows organizations to optimize their resources and achieve cost savings, while staying nimble to adapt to emerging trends that give them a competitive advantage.


While shared services offer many advantages and are crucial for successful transformation projects, implementing them strategically can be complex and may face resistance from some employees or departments. Effective change management and communication are essential to ensuring that the transition to shared services is smooth and that all stakeholders understand the benefits.

In part 2 of this article, we explore how to effectively navigate the implementation of shared services and the consolidation of departments through effective behavior-driven change management.

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