Around the globe, shared service centers (SSCs) have proven their commitment to becoming more efficient and effective, according to Deloitte's 10th biennial "2017 Global Shared Services Survey." Providing insight into the reality of the wide-ranging scale of modern business, the survey represents more than 1,100 shared service centers headquartered in 37 countries.
"Our survey demonstrates that organizations cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to their shared service model," said Noemie Tilghman, principal, strategy and operations at Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Just two years ago we saw a focus on evolution into a global business services model, and now a rapidly-changing marketplace, emerging technologies, and a competitive talent pool have significantly shifted the outlook. Organizations should find innovative ways to capture value through shared services while embracing the next frontier of technology and functionality to enhance value creation and service to customers."
Amid an uncertain business environment and rapid pace of change, many organizations are focused on creating efficiencies and refining processes within their shared service centers and are finding new ways to create value beyond transactional processes. As a demonstration of their success, SSCs continue to deliver increased value year after year, with 73 percent of survey respondents reporting productivity increases of 5 percent or higher. In addition, organizations around the world continue to constantly refine and enhance their SSC delivery models.
According to the Deloitte report, some of the key trends that will continue to shape the shared service landscape are:
In order to be efficient with their future plans, respondents provided insights into their strategy. For instance, when asked how to improve their shared services journey, 44 percent of respondents cited they would have increased their focus on automation and robotics. However, the need for greater change management (54 percent) and more visible leadership alignment (49 percent), remained the most common lessons learned for organizations year over year.
"The next frontier of shared services is on the horizon and robotic process automation is just the beginning. Artificial intelligence and data analytics will transform the way shared service organizations plan and adapt," said Tilghman. "Our results show an industry being disrupted significantly in the months ahead, so it is imperative to use these insights to develop and evolve to retain talent, to improve cost savings, and to become more efficient by investing in a truly digital labor force."
The Deloitte survey, conducted since 1999, identifies emerging trends in shared services based on the most recent response as well as comparing and contrasting responses from past Deloitte Global Shared Services surveys and shares concepts and insights from multiple geographies, industries, and revenue bases. The goal of the survey is to provide the latest thinking to help organizations that are beginning their shared service journey learn from others and to infuse fresh ideas into more mature shared service operations. This year's survey includes input from more than 330 companies from around the globe and provides data for more than 1,100 SSCs globally. Survey participants represented companies from most sectors with annual revenues ranging from less than $1 billion to more than $25 billion. For more detail, please read the Executive Summary and download the Infographic.
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