Over the past decade, the role of shared services has evolved significantly. Shared services centers (SSCs), previously dedicated to performing specific, mundane tasks, have transformed into integrated, operational hubs with immense potential for back office automation, intelligent decision-making, and cost optimization.
In fact, a study conducted by McKinsey suggests that companies can save time and money, and see a 50% increase in back office efficiency, by leveraging the power of digitized shared services.
But, if shared services hold so much value in the digital world, why aren’t more enterprises adopting shared services?
The Common Myths Surrounding Shared Services
Despite the purported benefits, many enterprises are hesitant to invest in shared services for a variety of reasons: fear of vendor lock-in, an aversion to “outsourcing,” or just a lack of information. Besides, there are many misconceptions surrounding shared services that often deter enterprises from getting on board. Here are seven of the common myths:
Shared Services Is The Same As Outsourcing
In actuality, shared services are in-house capability centers that offer enterprises more control and the ability to intelligently automate numerous processes
Shared Services Lead To A Loss Of Control
On the contrary, enterprises that leverage shared services have more control over their processes and outcomes, and can easily modify their shared services operations to address dynamic business needs
Shared Services Do Not Provide A Return On Investment
However, a Global Shared Services survey, conducted by Deloitte in 2019, found that cost efficiency and increased business value were the top priorities for shared services investments. Furthermore, 80% of survey respondents were able to recover their initial investment within three years of a significant SSC implementation
Shared Services Is The Same As Centralisation
SSCs do act as a central hub for coordinating backend processes, but are inherently geared toward maintaining partnerships across disparate departments, external providers, third-party resources, and customers. This model helps to promote innovation, optimise costs, and improve staff utilization across an enterprise
Shared Services Are Not Secure
Modern SSCs rely on several new-age technologies to ensure data security and continuous compliance with regulatory requirements. In fact, investing in an in-house process center can actually increase security, as enterprises can retain more control and visibility across their operations
Adopting Shared Services Creates Unhappy Employees
Sharing services provides an opportunity to better leverage talent by relieving knowledge workers and core staff from having to perform mundane, repetitive tasks. Instead, employees’ talents and resources can be maximized to improve business outcomes
Sharing Services Cannot Effectively Address Dynamic Or Unique Needs
SSCs function as a flexible, long-term solution for the delivery of non-core, administrative, and customer-centric activities. The goal of shared services is to balance the need for standardization and process efficiency with the desire for process agility and scalability
Looking To The Future
In an increasingly uncertain marketplace, enterprises are primarily looking to optimize their costs and ensure future-readiness through operational flexibility and agility. Shared services provide enterprises with the tools to streamline their processes and respond to dynamic changes and business needs by retaining in-house control. All the evidence points to the clear benefits of leveraging a digitized SSC to stay ahead of the curve, today and tomorrow.