Shared Services and Global Business Services are in a constant state of transformation, driven to become more agile, digital, and cost-efficient in an ever-changing business environment. These changes are aimed at providing enhanced experiences for both customers and employees, while also optimizing operational efficacy.
Deloitte’s 2023 Global Shared Services Survey, which received responses from approximately 500 organizations spanning six industries and 12 sectors, reveals exciting insights into the state of shared services centers (SSCs) and Global Business Services (GBS) models.
Top Priorities Unveiled
The study identified six key themes that are shaping the future of GBS organizations:
- Cost Reduction: Cost reduction remains the primary objective for GBS organizations, with many SSCs relocating to more cost-efficient locations in response to tight labor markets and shifting global dynamics.
- Key Enablers: The adoption of key enablers such as automation, single-instance enterprise resource planning (ERP), and workflow tools is enabling GBS organizations to drive more value. There is also growing interest in global standard processes, centralized analytics, and self-service models.
- ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance): GBS is playing a significant role in ESG, with approximately 50% of organizations reporting ESG as a focus area. Promoting social responsibility and diversity has emerged as a top priority within this context.
- C-suite Alignment: The survey results highlight that mature GBS organizations (those with over seven years of experience) primarily report to a GBS leader, with Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) serving as the most common C-suite GBS leader.
- Customer and User Experience: GBS organizations are increasingly focusing on improving customer and user experience by leveraging automation, reporting, analytics, end-to-end process ownership, and business continuity planning.
- Agile Talent Models: GBS organizations are exploring innovative ways to build agile and resilient talent models. This includes expanding remote work options, accelerating digital initiatives, implementing flexible work hours, and offering well-being opportunities, upskilling, and competitive compensation packages to retain talent in challenging environments.
Enabling Technology Leading the Way
To achieve increased agility, digital transformation, and cost-efficiency, GBS organizations are investing in enabling technologies. These technologies include single-instance ERP systems and workflow tools to standardize processes, as well as centralized analytics and reporting capabilities. Automation remains a key digital enabler and is expected to receive significant focus in the coming years.
Notably, centralized analytics reporting and performance dashboards have surged in importance, moving from the ninth position in 2021 to the fourth position in 2023. Organizations are increasingly incorporating persona-based performance dashboards linked to leadership goals and objectives. Furthermore, cloud capabilities are now a staple for many organizations, and GBS is leveraging the cloud to enable tools and capabilities such as automation, ERP, workflow tools, and analytics.
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