Beyond Cost Reduction - Next Level Shared Services
Doing something smarter is a common favorite buzzword. But now we don’t want to speak about the expansion of Shared Service Centers (SSC) functionality, neither about suitable and quality workforce, but about aspects and issues of the IT environment.
The first SSCs were established in Hungary in the late 90s for now we have 100+. The existing centers are planning to bring new services and processes to the country (46%) demonstrates that the sector is still developing and going through an upgrading period. Hungary is getting more attention for the existing companies and potential investors.
The primary goal of the SSCs – reduction in operational costs - still got some room by reducing personnel costs. Apart from this the efficient use of IT solutions should become the focus areas of the industry for the coming years. Nowadays SSCs are looking for new ways for optimization and automation in order to serve sophisticated business needs. In a software defined world enterprise IT managers must realize that they could not control manually the complex IT environment with its billions of dependencies anymore.
The implementation of new digitalization and automation technologies – especially at IT SSCs - means the adaptation of technological innovations of the fourth industrial revolution. These new technologies reached a tipping point in the optimization of organizational operations. Operational transformation projects by streamlining operations or digitalizing processes are also supported by fundamental IT systems.
80% of the BSCs are focusing on adding high value-added functions to their operations.
The Three Key Practices What Makes SSCs Digitally Mature
1. Automation for stress-free IT.
SSCs are still before the significant automation. New-wave automation with the help of robots (RPA) is a massive trend, but now we focus on IT automation. Automation is now indispensable as a result of increasingly complex even cloud-based IT infrastructures. A single cloud native application can consist of thousands of microservices running inside of containers, and millions of interdependencies, adding layers of complexity to an already convoluted digital ecosystem. The manual effort to deploy, manage and gain end-to-end visibility is no longer feasible. You need automation every step of the IT delivery pipeline: from development, testing and operations until the measurement of the business impacts of IT systems.
2. Creating insight and high value for the business.
Data is the base of basically everything in business. Most of the cases the adaption of digitalization is pushed by the business units. At the same time, IT professionals want to run systems that detects anomalies and identifies root causes of issues even before its affecting the business. So, user or customer centricity is the pressure of both sides. In applications and websites used by internal users or end users, understanding digital behaviors to predict and even influence next steps in the journey can be the source of business value. Successful Digital Experience requires immediate answers: recognize your customers’ mood and behaviors being expressed digitally to predict and even influence their next-steps in their journey.
Predictions, auto-baselining, insight creation, these all of which requires artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Availability of common, good quality and consistent data is a fundamental precondition for efficient SSC operation, where the participants in the processes and workflows are often located geographically (and even working- and organizational culturally) very far from each other.
3. Optimizing IT Operations & more
By understanding each end-user interaction the user experience can be optimized. It is good for the customer, good for the business and good for the IT, because IT can deliver the single source of truth. It’s time to rethink traditional paradigms and time for a new mindset: now IT operations innovate, predict, learn, evolve and running IT environment as a business within the business.
Modernized operation is also an outcome as the operations teams get early alerts and can optimize their processes together with the development team to respond to abnormal behavior and with that dramatically improve the MTTR. With fast resolution or even with auto-remediation cost reduction happens simultaneously while innovating, improving service and increasing the agility. Building an unbreakable pipeline and spending more time innovating than troubleshooting makes life easier for the IT Operations staff and avoid to trap of Digital Darwinism.
Digitizing is not just about using technology but about optimizing user-centricity through technology. The line between IT and business is blurring and it’s a matter of time before they become one and the same. An IT strategy without a business strategy is useless, and a business strategy that is not directly integrated with technology is doomed to fail.
No doubt that Shared Service Centers must take Business & IT alignment to the next level. Fortunately, end-to-end visibility and automatic discovering are making it possible to detect problems at the root cause and enterprises could focus more on innovation.