KPMG Global Advisory and HfS Research reported in a joint survey that the outsourcing and shared services market continues to be in a state of change in 2017, pointing to a combination of business drivers and technological advances as the cause.
The global business services (GBS) model (which delivers core business processes such as finance and accounting, human resources, information technology (IT), sourcing and procurement, and internal customer care to organizations) is the most prevalent model in organizations with revenues greater than $5 billion, and shows sustained growth. Smaller companies continue to adopt more centralized operating models.
According to enterprise leadership, the top four investment priorities are robotics process automation (RPA), customer-centric digital enablement (social/mobile/interactive), analytics solutions, and the replacement of on-premises solutions with SaaS platforms. Large companies are leading the way with RPA adoption across business processes, looking to suppliers for solutions, and showing that they are willing to invest in new technologies.
Despite the focus on market changes, some survey findings are consistent with past findings. Cost reduction remains the number-one directive with respect to outsourcing and shared services strategies among companies of all sizes and regions, and IT continues to be the largest business function using an outsourcing model. However, overall outsourcing has increased since 2013, with sales, marketing, and procurement seeing the largest increases. The survey also found a continuing disconnect between management levels, including differing opinions on the effectiveness of outsourcing.
The survey also covers a range of other topics including industry-specific changes in operating models, insights on outsourcing and shared services use, and the state of off-shoring and near-shoring use.