Global Business Services as a driving force behind innovation, E2E-processes and customer experience.
This is a decisive moment for Shared Service Centers (SSC) and Global Business Services (GBS) to become the key drivers of digital transformation within their own organizations to facilitate end-to-end processes and improve customer experience. Tony Saldanha, former VP Next-Generation Shared Services at Procter & Gamble, and Christian Mertin, EY Global GBS Solution Leader, shared their insights at an inspiring ‘Learn from the best’ session at the EY wavespace in Antwerp.
Good and bad news
Global Business Services organizations accomplish the expected savings in costs, have access to suitable talent for today’s challenges and are a reliable business partner for transactional services. The bad news is that GBS is still not viewed as a driver of transformation and innovation.
Nevertheless, the potential is there – now more than ever – for GBS to evolve into a strategic organization that sets the company’s disruption agenda and brings (measurable) added value to the entire organization via flexible solutions. “The future is complex but within reach and rewarding,” says Christian Mertin. "GBS can be the primary driver of digital transformation."
Four game changers
Mertin sees four game changers that allow GBS to upgrade their current role to that of a technology hub, data owner, change agent, innovation hothouse, IT ecosystem manager and/or an end-to-end process owner.
Thanks to experience with processes, GBS is perfectly positioned to drive transformation and innovation. But there are several conditions. Mertin: "For instance, convincing the C-level of the driving force and having a clear mandate for this are crucial. Furthermore, GBS must, at the very least, work very closely with IT or, even better, include an integrated IT function. Equally, GBS should seek to create an ecosystem of digital partners and should ideally prepare a location strategy to attract new technological skills."
GBS as innovation owner
GBS could bridge the gaps in the functional organization and thus facilitate real E2E-processes. "That requires responsibility for the entire process in which GBS assumes the advanced role of global process owner and global solution owner. For example, placing the focus on the correct KPIs and SLAs is, especially then, important."
GBS could become a true innovation owner for the organization. This requires part of the capacity – say 10% – being aimed at disruptive development in addition to the 70% at business operations and 20% at continuous improvement. Mertin: "Thanks to investments in disruption, GBS will also manage to attract innovation talent and create an ecosystem, which will provide them with an integrated toolbox for true innovation."
In the past, GBS was not very concerned with how internal and external customers perceived solutions. According to Mertin, they should, in their role of transformation drivers, put customers at the center of everything they do in order to ensure a superior customer experience. The headline message here is the joint building of simple and user-friendly solutions and interfaces. Saldanha shares this view: "GBS is a sensitive element in organizations: they take work away from other departments and say they will improve performance. They then have to prove that they actually do make the daily work of the other members of staff easier."