Business and Technology Insights

The Importance of Climbing the Business Services Maturity Ladder

 
February 19, 2018

Business managers are well versed with the many benefits offered by a shared services unit. However, the last two decades have seen a significant evolution of the shared services model. It has gone way beyond clubbing people, process, and technology functions to support different core-business units.

A mature shared services unit, referred to as an integrated business services (IBS) unit leverages technology to have a much more pronounced impact on a company’s competitive advantage. It delivers service and process excellence, sourcing flexibility, and improved governance.

In today’s competitive times, a business needs to deliver to customers in hours what typically takes days. And a turbocharged IBS is the answer to your organization’s need to speed up turn around time. As IBS makes strategic use of time and cost advantages offered by different geographies, it will help managers understand what new services are needed to keep the business thriving. Importantly, it will also foster an environment of collaboration among different core-business functions seeking to become agile, responsive, and more innovative.

Early adopters of IBS have benefitted from better customer outcomes by enabling high-value, high-quality services across the enterprise at a competitive price. If you wish to migrate to an IBS model, existing shared services centres can either adopt a lift-fix-drop model, a lift-drop-fix model, or a fix-lift-drop model. To learn more adopting a model that is appropriate to your business and the benefits you will enjoy therefrom, read my whitepaper Reimagining Shared Services as an Integrated Business Services Function.

Organizations aiming to transform their businesses appreciate that innovation is the need of the hour. To improve and eventually redefine existing processes, business leaders have to create ecosystems that adopt new technologies such as cloud computing, robotic process automation, analytics, machine learning, and blockchain. This is crucial as such emerging technologies are the building blocks of a matured shared services infrastructure under IBS.

Strong and forward looking leaders are promoting the growth, adoption, and integration of a maturing IBS unit across their organization’s global infrastructure. Once it achieves its full potential, an IBS unit will infuse new agility and innovation into the company’s DNA. In the longer term, you will enjoy equipping your company to fight battles in uncharted territories against unexpected competition and emerge victorious. If that’s the kind of company you want to build, you must explore the IBS route, sooner rather than later.

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Vikas Gopal is the Global Managing Partner, Finance & Shared Services Transformation within Tata Consultancy Services. He has extensive experience advising senior executives on industry trends and strategies for shared services, finance, and digital transformation. Vikas has held leadership roles in consulting and has led the strategy, design, and implementation of several transformative programs.