According to a 2017 Shared Services State of the Industry survey published by SSON, most centers focus on continuous process improvement and collaborative teamwork to drive performance, with technology playing a key role as well. At the same time, however, when looking more closely at technology adoption, SSOs have some catching up to do compared with front-office operations.
According to the study’s survey results, eight of 10 shared service centers rely on continuous improvement and process excellence to drive performance, while slightly over half leverage collaborative teamwork (56%) and automation technology (54%).
When asked about the future impact of technology, specifically robotic process automation (RPA), 66% of respondents envisioned either as a core capability (40%), or as technology applied to specific horizontal or vertical processes (26%).
From transactional efficiency to add value
The anticipated shift towards further process automation reflects a broader trend within shared services—from transactional cost savings to value-added knowledge work.
Traditionally, the driver for Shared Services was more efficient management of transactional processing in the back office. With so many of these processes involving paper, manual activity, and handoffs, the potential to standardize, centralize, and automate promises big returns.
In the past, many Shared Services made significant strides in transactional processing, either by leveraging low-cost labor. Today, while the same requirements for cost savings hold, the use of new technology solutions has led to a shift from transaction-oriented to knowledge-oriented, value-added services.
“While we had already witnessed the emergence of this trend over the past few years, our survey provides strong data that shows us just how far it has come,” says the report.
While only one out of 10 Shared Services today is focused “mainly on knowledge services”, 70% of respondents confirmed that they were actively shifting in that direction. This commitment, by 8 out of 10 Shared Services, to knowledge services, will drive increased automation and drive far greater value to their clients.
Smart Processes, Smarter Shared Services
From Artsyl Technologies’ perspective these statistics and trends are no surprise. Shares Service Centers Companies that partner with Artsyl and adopt smart process technology to automate their processes are typically looking to achieve more than cost-cutting to maintain competitiveness. Their ultimate goal is usually more focused on achieving scalability and operational excellence that will allow them to expand their operations efficiently while contributing on a more meaningful and impactful way to the business of their clients.
To learn more about technology opportunities for service organizations and how business process automation can drive competitiveness, profitability and scalability, view a recording of our recent shared services organization Webinar
Join Us for a July 6 Webinar to Explore New Automation Opportunities for SSOs
Shared Service Organizations are invited to join Artsyl Technologies for ato explore opportunities to boost efficiency and customer service on Thursday, July 6 at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET.