Becoming a digital business is non-negotiable for every company. But digital transformation is hard work. It is costly, complex and time consuming. The good news for companies with advanced shared services models is that the fundamentals of the digital business are already hard wired into their genetic code. With hyper speed, tireless customer focus and total data visibility, they are well on their way to a strong digital business future. And that’s a good thing, because digital disruption waits for no one.
Advanced shared services models have three characteristics enabling the transition to a digital business:
Feel the need for speed
In advanced shared services organizations, there are no silos; no complexity to manage. People are coordinated across functions and geographies around common targets and broad enterprise context, which makes it easier and faster to incubate ideas.
Look outside to see inside
Customer centricity is the holy grail of the digital business. Seamless customer experiences require seamless service integration with the customer at the core. That is the essence of advanced shared services organizations.
Get the multiplier effect
Advanced shared services organizations capture, store and analyze enterprise and customer data consistently—at scale across functional areas, product lines, regions and geographies. Analysis has a strategic enterprise view focused on creating new business value.
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Former Procter & Gamble Group President, Global Business Services and Chief Information Officer
Companies can build momentum toward a digital business future with several key actions:
Take an honest look at shared services in your organization.
Determine whether the organizational structure is blended or operates in functional silos.
Assess whether the model is organized around end-to-end services.
Explore whether IT operations and service delivery are horizontally aligned.
Consider whether resources are dynamically aligned to top business priorities.
Through all of this evaluation, planning, action and measurement, remember this digital truth—digital never stands still. The enterprise cannot either.
Christian Campagna helps solve CFOs’ pressing challenges so that they can transform the finance function and positively influence their broader organizations. He has more than 22 years of experience developing advanced strategies for finance and other general and administrative functions, including overseeing large-scale transformation projects. His work includes analysis of opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness, creation of competitive strategies, and refinement of business models and processes based on leading practices. Campagna has a Master of Engineering and a PhD in economics and management from the Technical University Berlin.
A special thanks to Filippo Passerini, former Procter & Gamble Group President, Global Business Services and Chief Information Officer, for his insightful contributions to this article.