Digital Transformation is Shared Services Priority

Enterprises have had to act swiftly to ensure the safety of their employees and their community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every organization has had its business continuity and resilience plans tested. Pre Covid-19, one of the biggest barriers for digital transformation that the large enterprises faced was the people lacking the right mindset to change. However, enterprises now understand that digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s critical to the survival of the business. According to a recent report, 80% of organizations now think that digital transformation is currently a priority, and 50% have a ‘tactical roadmap for digital planning and prioritization.

The next substantial leap for shared services centres is to provide digitalized solutions to enhance the back-end functionality of the organization leading to a reduction in process time and costs. By integrating automation, AI, data analytics, and other digital technologies into their operations, shared-services organizations can enhance the existing system and processes globally.

The existing solutions can process only simple transactions; they are inadequate in a digital world that requires timely, more frequent, and increasingly complex customer and vendor interactions. Organizations with an existing shared services model can overcome this problem by emphasizing less on simple manual tasks and concentrating their efforts on formulating and implementing efficient and customer-friendly service options.

Let us look at some key technologies at the forefront of such change within global shared service processes:

Shared Services organizations have always focused on delivering cheaper, faster, and better services to the enterprises they serve. However, while cost-efficiency continues to be an important strategic imperative, there is more pressure than ever for SSCs to digitally transform the operations they are charged with, and create new services and business value, not just cut costs.

SSCs stand to benefit immensely from RPA as it improves efficiency, reduces costs and increases ROI. This allows organizations to shift their workforce to higher-value tasks, as RPA takes care of low-value repetitive tasks. Most SSCs and GBS are still in the early phases of shared services automation, primarily using unattended robots, with little to no functionality or intelligence, to improve several back-office tasks. However, as RPA has increased its capabilities – through embedded and Artificial Intelligence, SSCs would be able to perform more cognitive-heavy tasks automatically while keeping human employees in the loop.

Shared services organizations can leverage predictive analytics using data from multiple departments and perform cross-functional analytics that can deliver unique operational insights. In a recent global survey, 61% of respondents said that the data analytics in their organizations was still ‘basic’, while 27% said they had sufficiently competent analytics. Only 8% had capabilities for complex event processing and neural networks. Enterprises today are increasingly looking towards predictive analytics to manage uncertainties and make swift and sound decisions.

AI will increasingly be adopted by enterprises worldwide for business transformation with newer capabilities of AI already being used by some organizations like facial recognition and natural language processing (NLP). For global business services organizations, AI can mean automation beyond RPA. Using cognitive AI and analytics, organizations can use unstructured data and handle complex marketing, finance, accounting, and customer service processes with automation.

Shared services can become the core backbone for an enterprise’s goals relating to agility and innovation by moving up the value chain both in terms of processes covered as well as on how they cover them by leveraging new business models combined with digital technology.

Download Presentation