At a conference I attended recently on the role of global in-house centers (GICs) in digital and RPA, one of the speakers asked everyone to imagine what their organizations would look like in the future. The answers from a room full of enterprise and GIC leaders were varied and fascinating. My personal favorite was the one where robots will manage all forms of work while people relax on a beach, soaking up the sun, and sipping their piña coladas. Tempting as that sounds, I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.
But what is happening now is a flurry of changes in the business environment globally. Amidst recent geopolitical developments in the U.S. and U.K., increasing talks of protectionist policies, the advancement of RPA and other service optimization technologies, and regulatory pressures affecting the global services sector, GICs and shared services centers find themselves at a crossroads. As the global services sector moves from an arbitrage first to a digital first delivery model, GICs have an opportunity to break away from the orthodox boundaries by taking the road less traveled, and enhance their role in enterprises’ global sourcing strategy.
Everest Group has seen first hand the evolving role of GICs, which has expanded beyond providing low- cost delivery to being agents of change – or catalysts – for enterprises’ back- and middle-office services.
Now, GICs are at an inflection point in their evolution journey, well positioned to take on this enhanced role driven by: increased endorsement from the enterprise and the shift towards insourcing; a strong foundation and ability to offer an insider’s view; tight integration with the existing core business; and strong adjacency with existing focus on driving efficiency and optimization.
What does the future of GICs look like?
To successfully undertake changes within their enterprises and redefine their role from captive to catalyst, GICs need to:
- Drive business impact and thought leadership
- Develop global leaders and talent/skills
- Play a pivotal role in the transformation of processes and service delivery
- Lead organizations through digital disruptions in global services.
Here are Everest Group’s recommendations on how GICs can capitalize on this opportunity:
- Redefine the art of the possible, and adopt a business outcome-oriented mindset, which is significantly different from the current delivery mindset
- Identify and prioritize investments, such as their choice of functional and technology segments, and the best approach to gaining more than just incremental growth
- Change their talent model (e.g., hire for learnability, strengthen culture of innovation) and operating model (e.g., different onshore-offshore collaboration models due to agile/DevOps) to catalyze the digital agenda.
Our newly renamed CatalystTM subscription research program (formerly known as Global Sourcing) provides GICs and enterprise clients with actionable insights to navigate through the evolutionary journey from captive to catalyst. Benefits of a Catalyst subscription include:
- Industry-leading research and viewpoints on multiple topics relevant to GIC market
- One-on-one briefings with Everest Group analysts and SMEs
- Exclusive invitations to GIC events – including webinars, roundtables, and virtual networking sessions – organized by Everest Group