global business services

Top 10 digital trends in global business services for 2023

global business services adoption has been heavily increasing over the past few years and is predicted to continue doing so. As GBS provides many benefits such as cost savings, process improvements and enhanced control over global operations, it’s no surprise that companies are eager to adopt it. Here are the top 10 trends in GBS that we predict for 2023:

  1. Hyperautomation will continue to drive efficiencies and business value from GBS or shared service centers: Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA), to automate tasks that are typically performed by humans. Hyperautomation is often used in shared services organizations to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Hyperautomation solutions can be used to automate a variety of tasks, including data entry, document processing, and customer service. Hyperautomation can also be used to improve the quality of shared services by ensuring that tasks are completed accurately and on time. In addition, hyperautomation can help to improve customer satisfaction by providing faster resolution of issues and more consistent service levels.

2. Data and analytics will become increasingly important in shared services and global business services: Data and analytics solutions are already being used extensively in shared services, and this trend is only set to continue. Data and analytics solutions will be increasingly used in shared services to deliver outcomes to businesses. Data analytics can help identify issues and trends, and predict future behaviors. This information can be used to improve service delivery, reduce costs, and increase efficiencies. Additionally, data analytics can help measure and assess the impact of shared services on business outcomes. By using data and analytics to understand how shared services are being used and how they are impacting business operations, organizations can make informed decisions about how to improve their shared service offerings. The use of data and analytics in shared services are essential for delivering value to businesses and ensuring that shared services are meeting their needs.

3. Customer experience will become a key differentiator in shared services and global business services: Shared services have long been a vital part of businesses, providing essential support functions such as HR, IT, and finance. In recent years, with customers now expecting a seamless and personalized experience, shared services will need to adopt innovative ways to improve customer experiences. Whether shared services are captive or outsourced, customer experience will be paramount. Shared services will need to adopt innovative ways to improve customer experiences, such as self-service portals and live chat. Using data analytics SSC’s could gain insights into customer behavior. This information can then be used to develop targeted strategies for improving the customer experience. SSC’s are increasingly obsessing over customer feedback and use it to continuously improve the quality of their service. By investing in customer experience, shared services will be able to stay ahead of the competition and deliver the best possible value to their customers.

4. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will play a larger role in shared services and global business services: In recent years, there has been a growing trend of shared services organizations leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to deliver better value across functions including Procurement, supply chain, HR, and Contracts. Shared services have typically been seen as a cost-saving measure, but with the help of AI and ML, they are now also being used to drive value and improve efficiency.  For example, by using predictive analytics, shared services organizations can proactively identify risks and opportunities in the procurement process. This information can then be used to negotiate better contracts with vendors, resulting in cost savings for the organization. AI can be used to identify patterns in data that can help Procurement optimize its sourcing strategy or manage supplier risk more effectively. Similarly, AI and ML can be used to optimize supply chains, ensuring that materials are delivered on time and in the most efficient manner possible. In the area of HR, AI and ML can be used to automate repetitive tasks such as onboarding and performance reviews. This frees up HR professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives that will have a greater impact on the organization. Finally, AI and ML can be used to improve contract management. By flagging potential issues before they become problems, AI and ML can help organizations avoid costly delays or mistakes in the contract management process. Overall, by leveraging AI and ML technologies, shared services organizations can deliver better value across functions, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings.

5. Robotics process automation (RPA) and intelligent data capture will become more widely used in shared services and global business services: RPA or Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows us to automate rule-based human tasks by providing a digital workforce. RPA has been around for a while but its adoption increased manifold in recent years and is now being used across various industry verticals and process types. RPA is being extensively used in shared services across various processes like order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, time and attendance, human resources onboarding, benefits enrollment, etc. RPA when combined with intelligent capture can provide complete end-to-end automation of these processes. RPA can also be used for Master Data Management (MDM), reconciliations, and other R2R processes. The benefits of RPA are many – it leads to reduced processing time, higher accuracy, improved compliance, and better customer experience. RPA is therefore massively being adopted by shared services across processes and is here to stay!

6. Process mining will become a more widely used tool in shared services and global business services: Process mining is a data-driven approach that uses data mining techniques to discover, monitor, and improve real business processes. By analyzing large data sets, process mining can help organizations identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and potential improvements in their business processes. Shared services organizations can use process mining to discover hidden patterns in their data that can be used to improve the efficiency of their operations. For example, by analyzing data from customer service interactions, process mining can help identify opportunities for automating tasks or improving the customer experience. Similarly, by analyzing data from financial transactions, process mining can help shared services organizations uncover hidden trends that can be used to improve financial management. Process Mining could also be used to create digital twins of processes to study different scenarios for processes and determine the size and scale of impact of any changes.  Process mining is therefore a powerful tool that can be used to drive operational improvements in shared services and global business services.

7. Blockchain will become more widely used in shared services and global business services: Blockchain is a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. Unlike traditional databases, which are centrally managed and require trust between parties, blockchain provides a decentralized, consensus-based platform that can be used by anyone without the need for intermediaries. Shared services organizations can use blockchain to create a secure, tamper-proof record of transactions. This is particularly useful for processes like procure-to-pay or order-to-cash, where accuracy and transparency are critical. Blockchain can also be used to create a digital identity for employees, customers, or suppliers. This can help reduce fraud and improve compliance in shared services and global business services.

8. iBPMS and Content Services solutions will see increased adoption: Solutions like intelligent business process management (iBPMS) and enterprise content management (ECM) / content services platforms, including document collaboration and knowledge sharing, will see a huge increase in adoption in shared services organizations over the next few years. These solutions offer many benefits for shared services, including increased efficiency, improved quality of service, and reduced costs. In addition, these solutions offer several features that are essential for shared services, such as the ability to automate key processes and integrate them into existing ones, the ability to scale to meet the needs of a large number of users, the ability to support multiple languages, and the ability to enable real-time collaboration using a single source of truth thereby leading to better control and decision making.

9. The role of the chief shared services officer (CSSO) will evolve: The CSSO is responsible for the strategy, governance, and delivery of shared services within an organization. As shared services become more complex and technology-driven, the CSSO’s role will evolve accordingly. The CSSO will need to have a strong understanding of technology trends and how they can be used to drive operational improvements. They will also need to be able to effectively manage and motivate a team of highly-skilled shared services professionals. In short, the CSSO’s role is becoming increasingly strategic and technology-focused, and this trend is only going to continue in the years to come.

10. Sustainability: Sustainability has become a key agenda for businesses around the world and shared services are no exception.  Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) are used to describe the three main pillars of sustainability. Shared services have a big role to play in supporting sustainability initiatives, from reducing environmental impact to promoting social responsibility. For example, shared services can implement energy-efficient practices, support supply chain sustainability initiatives, and promote employee well-being. In addition, shared services can help to drive sustainability reporting and disclosure for the business. By doing so, shared services can make a big contribution to achieving sustainability goals.

Each of these trends presents significant opportunities for the business. GBS’s that embrace these trends will be well positioned to succeed in the digital economy and deliver superior value to business.

The article has been written by Srividya Kannan, Founder & Director, Avaali Solutions

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