Back to Basics


DH Design have produced the SSON 2017 State of the Shared Services Global Industry report for IQPC.

The past two years have been full of dramatic headlines foretelling the end of Shared Services as we know it. A new “digital” workforce, we’ve been told, will be running much of the show. Management will only be interested in data and the story it tells, and the ‘services’ role of Shared Services will be automated away.

The reality, as you all know, is that the fundamentals of Shared Services – providing cost-effective, reliable support to the business – still count.

So this year we are bucking the trend to lead with what you might call an antidote to the craziness. We are not focusing on digital or robotics or virtual. Some of you, after all, don’t have a single robot in your team yet, let alone an army. Robotics and digital workflows are not part of your day-to-day reality. Which is why, for the next few years, the fundamentals will remain key in guiding your SSC strategy. And that’s why it’s important that this year’s survey provides the real, untainted answers that you need, now, more than ever.

So this year we ask: How are you best serving your customers? How do you measure your success? How do you charge for services? How do you resource most effectively? How do you set efficiency targets?

The answers to these questions also shed light on how you are leveraging new technology – and that is precisely the point. The framework for the customer/SSO exchange remains one based on solid, reliable, cost-effective, service delivery. What our survey shows is that today, this delivery is still predominantly about performance and excellence – but resourcing is changing dramatically.

More than 400 Shared Services and Outsourcing practitioners took part in this year’s survey, representing centers from across the globe, both single- and multifunctional, in-country and Global. We thank each and every one of you that responded for taking the time to play your part in this report.