The main difference between outsourcing and shared services is that outsourcing involves the hiring of an external firm to perform specific tasks or processes, while shared services involve internal sharing of resources and expertise within the organisation.
Outsourcing is the subcontracting of a specific task, such as payroll administration, to an external service provider. Your organisation maintains control of the process and its execution, although an external firm will be responsible for its management.
Shared services is a term used for the outsourcing of support functions within an organisation. For example, an organisation can have its own legal team that also serves the organisation’s subsidiaries.
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