Despite the fact that Global Business Services and Shared Services were originally constructed to drive cost savings through centralization and standardization, there is growing evidence that the case for action is no longer purely cost reduction.
Our own research with GBS and Shared Services leaders shows the tension between the business outcomes DEMANDED by executive management and the aspirations of the GBS leadership themselves.
The expectations vs aspirations debate is interesting, and everyone agrees we need to sustain a focus on cost efficiencies, but the real prize is MUCH more impactful.
The demands on GBS and Shared Services have never been greater and doing more with less is crucial. However, this is no longer enough.
Leaders are working to develop enhanced capabilities and reputation beyond cost cutting, towards value creation, becoming a Centre of Excellence (CoE), with expertise to optimise and automate as well as operate, with an emphasis on global End-to-End Business Processes, the collaboration and talent required to get there.
The focus on global End-to-End processes puts GBS in the front lines of business. GBS Leaders need to gear up for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
The challenges include:
- Clarifying responsibilities and expectations
- Planning for specific capability and mindset gaps
- Building the necessary capabilities
- Creating new solutions
- Sustaining the change
New technologies are also shaking up global business services and creating new opportunities to create lasting value. Automation is, of course, just one tool in the tool box! Evidence shows that a global End-to-End process approach is the foundation of transformation success.
If GBS organizations can transform successfully, they will be well positioned to be engines of enterprise growth and trusted advisors to add value to the rest of the organisation.