Over the few decades, the concept of shared services has undergone a revolution, increasing in both potential and complexity. Organizations that wish to remain competitive should reconsider their business plans in order to make the most of these increasingly influential trends in the shared services realm.
- Location options: Thanks to improved technology, an organization’s locations are no longer chosen on the basis of cost advantages and availability of staff. By making use of shared services, an organization can choose the locations of its branches and facilities with little regard for geographic limits. Instead, the business can develop a global network of delivery and operational hubs based on proximity to clients and other non-geographic factors.
- Useful analytics: Shared services has become the largest processor of organizational data. Though this data is unstructured, it remains potentially valuable – and thus what could be a starting point for analytics implementation to drive transformation of an organization. Companies willing to invest in shared services and also willing to take a hard, detailed look at how they do business could reap valuable rewards from the process.
- Increased automation: Organizations looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiencies are considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in which repetitive tasks are performed using computer programs driven by robotic software. Experts say the coming years will see an explosion from RPA combined with artificial intelligence and other leading-edge concepts. Simple activities that are automated today are laying the groundwork for an array of logic-based processes that are potentially game-changing. This could free up an organization’s existing employees to refocus on their core competencies.
Shared services, by encompassing such vital business processes as mailroom, scanning, data capture, accounts payable processing and hard copy storage, has the potential to do more than just reduce costs and increase efficiencies. A reliable, forward-thinking outsourcing provider using leading-edge technology could result in shared services changing the way an organization does business.