Business Services & the Cloud: A Winning Combination for BPO and Captive Shared Services for Non-IT Functions?

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Stefan Meixner

Stefan Meixner

The seismic technological change promised by the advent of Cloud Computing will not
affect the IT department alone. Significant opportunities exist to move business processes to the Cloud, as well. What benefits can clients, service providers and investors really expect from this new service paradigm? And what impact will the Cloud have on the BPO service provider market?

Very similar questions were asked more than a decade ago, when the market first began to speculate on how the Internet would affect business processes and, specifically, whether it would make the model of centralized Shared Services Centers redundant? Instead, the idea of a Virtual Shared Service Center was born, in which support function staffs remain in their offices but work together Online in a standardized way under one organization.

Initially, the market overestimated the impact the Internet would have on the Shared Services model, not dissimilar from the general Internet hype which resulted in the inflating of the dot-com bubble and its subsequent popping in early 2000. Despite this the Internet had — and continues to have — a significant impact on business support functions. The quality and efficiency of Shared Services Centers have significantly improved through online self-service and an increasing degree of automated interaction between companies and their suppliers and customers. By contrast, only a few Virtual Shared Services have been implemented. 

Alongside mobile devices and social media, cloud computing represents the next step in the evolution of technology. This paper’s objective is to analyze the real opportunities it offers organizations and providers to rethink non-IT support functions, applications and services. Alongside mobile devices and social media, cloud computing represents the next step in the evolution of technology. This ISG white paper explores the real opportunities it offers organizations and providers to rethink non-IT support functions, applications and services.

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