NEW YORK, May 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While cost efficiency is still a key benchmark for shared services centers (SSCs), it is no longer the sole consideration, according to the 11th edition of Deloitte's "2019 Global Shared Services Survey Report." Two decades since its inception, the biennial survey found a growing trend toward global, multifunctional models that are expected to deliver higher value at lower cost. This year's survey engaged 379 respondents across industries — representing over 700 shared service centers — with more than half of respondents from companies with at least $5 billion in annual revenue.
Once used for single functions such as finance and human resources, SSCs are leveraged in more strategic areas ranging from procurement, to supply chain and manufacturing support, to sales and marketing, which saw growth of 14%, 33% and 35%, respectively, over 2017 survey results.
"Shared service centers are shifting from being a 'provider of what they ask for' to a generator of tangible business value — especially as SSCs are witnessing an increased penetration in strategic and interaction-heavy functions. This new approach is ultimately changing the way success is measured when leveraging a shared environment," said Jean White, principal and U.S. global business services lead, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Measures of success
Emerging technologies, such as cloud, robotic process automation and single-instance enterprise resource planning, are putting SSCs at the forefront of enterprise transformation as leaders prioritize a culture of continuous improvement. Cloud, robotics or single-instance enterprise resource planning solutions have been implemented by more than 85% of respondents looking to capitalize on opportunities for enterprise-wide innovation. Overall, 9 in 10 respondents agree that digital capabilities are central to achieving SSC objectives.
"Time to benefit is reducing, as organizations are now able to capture value from these centers faster as technologies advance, and innovation and strategy are increasingly scaled," said White.
Also central to success is quality talent, able to perform the advanced tasks expected of them. Labor quality saw a fivefold increase in this year's survey, demonstrating talent has become critical to SSCs as they expand into higher-value, customer-facing processes. As leaders look to implement emerging technologies and utilize SSCs for more strategic work, top talent — and the benefits needed to retain it — remain top of mind.
"Over the 20 years Deloitte has conducted the Shared Services Survey, low cost has been the principle talent concern," said Brad Podraza, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "What is markedly different about this year's survey is the emphasis placed on quality of talent, which is increasingly important to organizations. There is a give and take between low cost and high value, and shared services centers are continually working toward striking that balance."
Supporting global operations
In an effort to establish global impact, organizations are increasingly leaning on their SSCs to help scale and support critical operations.
Leaders are doubling down on global operations, with 75% of respondents offering either regional or global support through their SSCs. Additionally, 59% of SSCs have global coverage, up from 21% in 2017.
India and the U.S. remain preferred destinations for new SSCs; mature markets such as Costa Rica and Mexico continue to be top spots for new SSCs in the Americas, according to the survey. As respondents lean into SSCs to expand geographic scope and capabilities, they prefer moving directly to global delivery models — a shift in recent years.
For more insights from Deloitte's global shared services survey, view the full survey.
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