A comprehensive guide to Global Business Services (GBS)

As the global business landscape has continued to evolve since the mid-90s, expectations have never been higher for global businesses to drive agility and boost competitive advantage – especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent disruptions that ensued.

Continually improving operational efficiencies, transforming employee experience, and enhancing customer experience can help modern businesses achieve these goals. Organisations that understand what global business services (GBS) are and successfully implement the GBS model can achieve this by bringing together siloed operational functions for improved service quality, cost-efficient delivery, and uniform governance.

This GBS guide will help you understand what global business services (GBS) are, how they can help modern businesses, and how you can gain a competitive edge with GBS transformation.

What are global business services (GBS)?

Simple shared services and business process outsourcing models have evolved. Consequently, global business services have become one of the key foundations of digital strategy that can help modern businesses navigate today’s transformative age. Focusing on reducing costs, improving process efficiency, and optimising service delivery, GBS encompasses a variety of service models – like outsourcing, shared services, centres of excellence, and automation. The goal here is to create customer-centric process workflows that are consistent across functions and geographies.

Benefits of global business services

Going a step further than the shared services, GBS not only simplifies operational workflows but also offers several critical advantages that can play a critical role in gaining a competitive edge in today’s dynamic business landscape. Here are some GBS outcomes that modern businesses can benefit from–

Connected end-to-end processes with reduced costs

GBS transformation can help you eliminate cross-departmental silos to drive process standardisation, automation, and integration for faster, cost-effective, and more efficient process workflows.

Unified employee service experience

Connected processes with no operational silos can help you present a uniform GBS interface – accessible to all the employees – for a unified employee service experience. Such omnichannel access can help employees find answers quickly while allowing the company to address employee concerns proactively.

Shared visibility across all service cases

Shared cross-departmental visibility is one of the critical outcomes of GBS transformation, allowing teams to work collaboratively, identify holistic improvement opportunities, and achieve continuous improvement. With real-time insights across departments, you can achieve higher overall service quality while optimising operational costs.

Enhanced agility and ease of continuous improvement

Having achieved all the outcomes above, you are now in a better position to create a unique employee experience and facilitate cross-departmental innovation with GBS transformation. As a result, you will be able to respond quickly to market dynamics while achieving continuous improvement.

Additionally, you can also expect to achieve a global reach, integrated capabilities, customer-centricity, flexibility and scalability, and cost-efficiency with GBS, allowing you to be a step ahead of your competition.

Pulling further ahead with GBS transformation

The global business services model has no "one-size-fits-all" approach that would allow every organisation to leverage its benefits. However, following strategic steps can not only help you successfully integrate GBS into your process workflows but also empower you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Here are some steps that can help you implement a GBS model for your organisation:

Approach GBS in phases

Taking a phased approach is the key to successful GBS implementation. Starting with assessing your digital capabilities, you can prioritise the key areas to focus your efforts on while facilitating a shift towards a global service delivery mindset among the key stakeholders.

Build the right team

Without the right team, your GBS transformation will not succeed. You need to evaluate your existing talent pool and develop a strong GBS talent strategy that can help you recruit skills and expertise that will support your success.

Empower your team to identify process issues and implement improvements

The traditional approach of focussing on a single workflow will not work for GBS implementation. You need to empower your GBS team to work within and across departmental silos to identify process inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and issues to help implement continuous improvements.

Additionally, creating a bold GBS vision, moving quickly in target areas, creating “nerve centres” that cut across departmental silos, and taking a restructuring approach to ensure long-term value delivery can help you ensure successful GBS implementation.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM can help you transition to the next level with GBS transformation. We can help you improve service delivery models, simplify end-to-end functions, and adopt next-gen strategies and services for streamlined operations, reduced costs, improved service quality, and enhanced growth. Our proprietary framework and tools can help you transform your shared services through digital GBS models – with services like digital GBS strategy and implementation (for new systems) or GBS breakthrough (for transforming your existing shared services).

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