Since 2011, KPMG and its Global Insight Pulse Surveys have become a trustworthy source for identifying and interpreting best practices and key market trends in the global business services (GBS). In the 3rd quarter edition of 2016, the surveys point out two interesting facts affecting our usage of shared services, namely the paradox of digital disruption and the GBS continued growth.
First, the digital paradox shows companies’ hesitation and delay in embracing advanced technologies, despite the awareness of their potential and positive impact. According to the surveys, companies fully acknowledge that digitalisation can bring long-term benefits like improved operational efficiency (50%), automation of core business processes (41%) and improved customer satisfaction (34%). However, the transformation is slowed down by barriers, the most common of which are: lack of strategic vision, limitations of IT systems and cultural resistance. Besides, KPMG predicts more optimistic scenery where the GBS continues to grow and mature beyond the back office. While cost savings and process efficiency remain the core values when offshoring or adopting shared services, an increasing number of companies focus on cross-functional practices to “make the business more relevant, fast-acting and forward-thinking”. We can expect a new wave of offshored teams with functional integration in Procurement, Supply chain & logistics, Data & Analysis (both internal and external use).
Finally, the surveys maps out 3 solutions that I personally think really effective for offshored and outsourced companies. Executive leadership should be more determined in their offshoring decisions and work closely to develop an integrated strategic vision. In terms of digitalisation, companies also need to be more flexible, leaving a 3-year roadmap for the practice to fully take effect. Encouraging a culture of change is the final piece of the puzzle as an open mindset ensures staff and executives alike will easily adapt to offshoring’s tremendous but positive changes.