20 Aug 2019
Checking The Numbers

Create a new art of the possible with Global Business Services

By

Katie Burns

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) Head of Performance Improvement Finance

Passionate about addressing challenges faced by finance functions.

20 Aug 2019

The abundance of data and technology offers the ability to use it better, to create more from less.

The days of Shared Service Centres acting as mere cost-saving centers are long gone. Global Business Services (GBS) functions are responsible for driving lean end-to-end processes, providing advanced and higher valued services such as business analytics rather than acting as pure transactional functions. 

Shared services, which started in the 1990s, saw organisations focusing on centralisation and standardisation of transactional processes. They tended to be single function organisations predominantly with a focus on Finance. In traditional shared services, the aim was trying to reduce costs, through labour arbitrage in lower cost locations and efficiency of people and process through centralisation and standardisation. 

With GBS, the clear focus is now on customer-centricity, and streamlining digitalisation efforts to exploit the full potential of Intelligent Automation and the newest technology advances.  

The focus has shifted away from labour arbitrage to reduce cost, to put the customer at the centre of all organisational activities. The means of delivering services is now focused on being cross-functional, the abundance of data and technology offers the ability to use it better, to create more from less.

Global Business Services (GBS) focuses on creating customer-centric, digitalised process flows across functions and geographies. It includes flexible operating units that are steered globally and independently of traditional business units. Innovation is in the DNA of modern GBS, and emerging technology managed by GBS can support exceptional performance across the organisation; at the same time, GBS units remain lean, cost-competitive and efficient.

Global Business Services - why now?

Ireland has a large, well-established shared services base, for a number of reasons; We have a number of international companies with a large presence and in some cases HQ’s in Ireland, more importantly, our access to talent. Ireland is an English speaking country that’s easy to do business with and travel in and out of.

Some organisations in Ireland and beyond are struggling to create value for stakeholders in this transformation age. With a strong GBS backbone, traditional back office processes are kept as lean as they can be, so you can put all of your effort into creating value for the organisation and focussing on technology as an enabler for the business. 

Summary

With GBS, the clear focus is on customer-centricity, and streamlining digitalisation efforts to exploit the full potential of Intelligent Automation and the newest technology advances.  

About this article

By

Katie Burns

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) Head of Performance Improvement Finance

Passionate about addressing challenges faced by finance functions.