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How to succeed in Business Services

June 5, 2014 / by Steve Schultz

Contributor: Mike Gammage

History isn’t necessarily obvious when you’re involved in it. But my hunch is that we’ll look back on the SSON events this year and see that they marked an inflection point.

This is the year when things came together. A shared vision of the future is rapidly emerging. The alignment of buyers, vendors and advisers around that common vision will accelerate the pace of change. By the time of the Rio Olympics in 2016, we’ll look back on this as the year when we realised just how big the tidal wave of change called “Business Services” would be.

The Destination
In the enterprise of the future, all support activities are set to be delivered through a Business Services unit. “Support” meaning everything outside of core operational activities: Finance, HR, IT, Procurement, Facilities, Legal, even Supply Chain in some circumstances.

Some of the Fortune 1000 have Business Services units in operation already. Others have nascent units. Most are scrambling to define their Business Services strategies.

So the future will be far more multifunctional. Existing functional organizations will continue – most people will still work in HR or Finance teams, for example – but there will be far more organizational fluidity. The sharp demarcation lines that define existing functional silos will become blurred.

The future will also be characterized by far more hybrid service delivery models. Up to now, most organizations have opted either for shared services or for outsourcing. The future – and many organizations are already well down this path – is about continually optimizing a mix of shared services, outsourcing and retained activities....

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Steve Schultz

Written by Steve Schultz