In its studies of world-class enterprises that excel in operational efficiency and effectiveness, The Hackett Group has seen an evolution in recent years from conventional shared service organizations (SSOs) to a more progressive model that can be termed "global business services." While conventional SSOs have delivered substantial cost reductions over the past two decades, global business services have several advanced characteristics that can significantly differentiate companies and help move them to world-class performance levels.

Global Business Services Are Global in Orientation

Global business services are "global" in two different and important ways

  • Whereas conventional SSOs tended to adopt the standards and processes of the particular functional organizations from which they were spun off, global business services develop and apply enterprise-wide standards and processes, optimized for efficiency.
  • While conventional SSOs are often operated in-house and are local or regionally based, global business services leverage business process outsourcing and offshoring opportunities in pursuit of greater efficiencies.

Global Business Services Are Broad in Scope and Integrated with the Enterprise

Global business services take on a broad range of activities, breaking down barriers between functions and leveraging best practices across the enterprise. Global business services are also more closely integrated with business strategies and operations, rather than working at the periphery.

Global Business Services Are Driven by a Customer Service Culture

Rather than operating with the "overhead" mentality that was characteristic of many early SSOs, global business services organizations are characterized by a strong customer service and performance culture. Innovation is encouraged, and a premium is placed on talent development and leadership cultivation.

The Role of Talent in GBS

Acquisition, development and retention of talent is the common element of world-class GBS. With the right mix of talent, GBS can become an indispensable partner to the business and a value-adding component in the delivery of business services. However, GBS leaders are so concerned about their ability to attract and retain qualified talent that they ranked it as the number-one risk to their ability to operate.

The Hackett Group Offers Expert Global Business Services Consulting

The Hackett Group, a leading global strategy consulting and operations consulting firm, offers deep experience and expertise on global business services design and implementation. Our services include benchmarking, transformation consultation, and an executive advisory program geared specifically toward global business services. Our business advisory programs provide clients with ongoing access to The Hackett Group's veteran advisors and to an unmatched online repository of performance metrics, best practices, and cutting edge research.

To learn more about The Hackett Group's consulting services, including consulting for procurement, HR, IT and finance strategy, contact us.