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Achieving digital transformation in shared services organizations

Which business enablers are the most effective?

Digital technologies play a growing role in helping shared services organizations achieve their objectives—but there are also other factors at play.

Organizations have historically invested in shared services centers (SSC) to reduce costs, develop capabilities, standardize processes, and drive overall efficiency and business value. Over the past year, some organizations have prioritized accelerating their digital agenda as another top objective for investing in SSCs. In fact, high-performing global business services (GBS) organizations—those that have achieved three or more SSC objectives—have digital transformation as part of their strategic agenda.

These insights are reflected in the results of the 2021 Deloitte shared services and outsourcing survey, in which 600+ GBS and shared services leaders said that digital enablers—digital technologies that improve and optimize their services—are critical to how their organization innovate across functions to achieve their objectives. Figure 1 from the survey report shows that the respondents identified robotic process automation (RPA), single-instance enterprise resource planning (ERP), and global standardized processes as the top three key enablers to achieving their objectives.

  • RPA may be the top-ranked enabler, but it is not a stand-alone strategy to maximize savings and streamline business operations. While many organizations have already implemented RPA, almost half of the respondents cited process and technical complexity as the biggest challenges to automation. Additionally, the majority of respondents who were able to attain savings through RPA also employed a single-instance ERP. The survey results indicate that all the top three enablers go hand in hand: A simplified environment, supported by global standardized process and single-instance ERP, can help GBS organizations realize greater benefits from RPA implementation.
  • The results also show that while the top three enablers are likely to remain the same over the next one to three years, there is also increased focus on the areas of instilling a culture of innovation and centralized analytics reporting within the GBS organization. For more insights on the latest trends and challenges impacting shared service and GBS models, check out the 2021 global shared services and outsourcing report.1

Finance Transformation Services


CFOs know finance transformation can be difficult and time-consuming. But they also know it’s an effective way to keep up with the changing needs of the business. Whether it’s technology disruption, business model innovation, or a new industry ecosystem, Deloitte helps finance organizations look ahead to what’s next while keeping the ship on a steady course.

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Cover image by: Swagata Samanta

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