The pandemic has impacted all businesses, small and large. In many cases the difference between a successful business resiliency story and an unsuccessful one was the quality and maturity of its Global Business Services (GBS) organization.
GBS organization across industries have grown way beyond supporting transactional functions to playing more strategic roles focused on creating enterprise agility, providing insights based on vast pool of data for improved efficiency and customer experience, and playing a key role in innovation and digitization. The pandemic has put GBS organizations and operations under spotlight, given the extent to which the resilience they displayed under pressure, that kept businesses going.
Here are some key trends we have observed that we believe will shape the future course of GBS evolution in 2022:
- ESG is an idea whose time has come. Even without the pressures of a global pandemic, there has been an increasing need to focus on Environmental, Social and Governance implications of running the enterprise, and integrating this into ongoing GBS operations. As many organization plan and invest in sustainability initiatives and programs – such as moving to net-zero, DEIB, etc., they look to their GBS for analytics and insights to illuminate the way forward.
- The much touted ‘war’ for talent has made it even more critical for GBS organizations to focus on people. While digitization continues to be a key imperative, any digital transformation is only as good as the people planning, designing and executing it. GBS organizations will scout for quality talent, find ways to engage and retain them in the new normal (remote working and boundary-less hiring) and heightened market competition. GBSes will fight hard to create a strong brand that attracts and retains talent and provides a sense of belonging to its employees with visibility about their career growth.
- GBS will continue to use a hybrid model. Even after majority of the global population is vaccinated, the WFH model will continue to thrive in a hybrid form. GBS organizations will manage their teams’ productivity by having the right productivity management tools. The hybrid model will underscore the need for robust cybersecurity and data protection controls.
- Increased focus on performance, value creation and customer centricity. GBS is no longer just a back office for transactional and support functions but has gain center stage as hub of an enterprise ecosystem that generates real time insights and focuses on innovation and integration. It will take on more value-added services, and act as partners to BUs in their digital and analytics initiatives.
- Mature GBS organizations consider Automation to be a necessity, not just an efficiency lever. GBS organizations will make intelligent automation their key focus, if they haven’t already. This will include inhouse efforts to identify problem areas, create PoCs to address them and seek external help via tie-ups with startups and platform/tool vendors to bring expertise, speed and agility to the process. Ultimately, GBS organizations will strive for the ability to provide end-to-end paperless support using AI, ML and related technologies.
- Operational optimization rests on the foundation built on core capabilities. Supply chain disruption was one of the biggest pain points in 2020-21. GBS will play a central role in ensuring stable operations and resilient supply chains by working closely with the enterprise and service providers across locations and enhancing business continuity plans. Data driven insights will play an important role in forecasting demand and efficiently managing the supply thus optimizing operations.