Taking it to the Next Level: Four Keys to Boosting Global Business Services Capabilities


The operational strategies of global enterprises are typically characterized by a mix of shared services, centers of excellence and outsourced delivery models designed to leverage economies of scale and scope, organizational and geographic consolidation and process standardization.

Today, businesses are increasingly seeking to move their approach to service delivery further up the maturity ladder. Towards that end, many are deploying a Global Business Services (GBS) model to integrate myriad operational strategies and regional initiatives into a cohesive and coordinated framework. Typically charged with overseeing multiple service centers and functions — including front-office operations such as call centers, back-office operations such as F&A and industry-specific middle-office operations — GBS organizations are designed to drive common practices, protocols and control measures, as well as leverage geographies to reduce costs and address language requirements.

GBS comprise a mix of service delivery models, from captive offshore delivery centers to domestic shared services centers to outsourced delivery. While providing some benefits, many GBS organizations today fail to fully utilize the range of available tools, capabilities and expertise. The result is a missed opportunity to drive significant gains in consistency and standardization, economies of scale and operational transparency, as well as mitigate financial and operational risk.

This ISG white paper, co-authored by my colleague Michael Fullwood, examines four ways GBS organizations can significantly enhance their capabilities, namely by:

  • Leveraging automation,
  • Developing a digital asset strategy,
  • Enhancing change management capabilities, and
  • Developing robust governance mechanisms.

About the author

Michael Fullwood areas of expertise involve a wide range of business process services, including sourcing assessment, RFP management, contract negotiations and transitions. He has guided major global businesses through multi-functional transformational and sourcing projects for G&A functions and service delivery. Michael has three-fold experience as an executive delivery buyer (as Director of FP&A for a global telecommunication firm); as a delivery seller (as a director with an outsourcing services provider); and most recently during the past eight years as a third-party advisor.