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.