Category: Shared Services/Global In-house Centers

4Cs to Successfully Attain Business Agility in GBS Organizations | Blog

Business agility has emerged among leading Global Business Services trends as a key driver for growth, innovation, and business excellence. Attaining business agility requires new ways of thinking and working. To learn more about the 4Cs (commitment, collaboration, competence, and construct) that can help GBS organizations rapidly respond to market changes and emerging opportunities, read on.

Looking at the latest Global Business Services trends, business agility is a key lever driving cost optimization, improved operational efficiency, accelerated digital transformation, higher revenue impact, improved customer experience, and other positive business impacts. Mature GBS organizations are increasingly reaping the benefits of agility, often reacting, and adapting to changes and challenging situations faster than ever before.

But business agility doesn’t prioritize speed over quality. Being agile doesn’t deteriorate quality, limit documentation, or micromanage. Business agility is an organization’s ability to rapidly adapt to the market and environmental changes productively and efficiently. Organizations who think lean and embrace agility or possess a Lean-Agile mindset are proving they can overcome challenges and seize emerging opportunities quicker than their competitors.

4Cs to successfully attain business agility in GBS organizations

Through our research with mature GBS organizations, Everest Group has identified 4Cs to attain business agility success as shown below:

Picture1 1

Exhibit 1: Everest Group

GBS organizations need to possess the following characteristics to reach business agility:

  • Commitment
    • Change the mindset and increase risk tolerance (over 50% of companies believe resistance to change impedes their progress towards achieving complete agility)
    • Evolve the organizational culture to scale the agile model
  • Competence
    • Focus on talent management by taking an empathy-based approach to leadership and hiring team players
    • Invest in roles for the future and nurture specialist talent
  • Collaboration
    • Leverage internal social tools to drive transparent collaboration across the organization
  • Construct
  • Ensure autonomy and evolve the operating model to avoid getting stuck in existing models and being unable to innovate and realize the true potential of agility
  • Establish open communication channels and/or build a bottom-up communication channel

A shift to agile work

With enterprise expectations evolving and GBS organizations becoming strategic business partners driving higher value and impact, adopting agile work methods has become an urgent need.

Traditional work ways have visibly shifted to an agile mindset. Let’s look at how the 4Cs translate to the new agile approaches as illustrated below:

Graph 2

Exhibit 2: Everest Group

Business agility – the path forward for GBS centers

With enterprises viewing GBS as the hubs for innovation, digital transformation, and change, integrating agile working methods will help GBS centers deliver value-based outcomes productively and efficiently. This also will enable different GBS centers to operate as a cohesive network, benefiting from each other’s best practices. In today’s rapidly changing times, business agility is the path forward for GBS organizations.

To learn about how GBS centers are implementing agility across their operations, read our report 4Cs of Success to Attain Business Agility in GBS Organizations. Please reach out to Aditi Bansal ([email protected]) and/or Meghna Thomas ([email protected]) to share your experiences or discuss Global Business Services trends.

To find out if your GBS is organization evolving to create superior value, take our GBS Evolution Personas Framework assessment.

Five Actions GBS Organizations Must Take to Address the Global Business Services Trends and Challenges of 2022 | Blog

2021 was a milestone year for Global Business Services (GBS) with most enterprises reporting the model exceeded expectations for global business services solutions and delivery. GBS provided the needed strength and agility to seamlessly supply value without disruption from the pandemic. GBS organizations also saw higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS), a metric showing customer satisfaction and loyalty, with an increase of 10-25% in 2020 and 2021, and established higher stakeholder engagement and service delivery expansion.

With this steady stride set in motion, GBS organizations are now looking to approach 2022 with a renewed focus on increasing the value of delivering global business service solutions. They are striving to boost proficiency, digitalization, and customer-centricity while taking steps to adapt to current challenges like inflation, a talent deficit, higher costs, and the ripples set in motion from the pandemic.

So, what should GBS organizations focus on now to establish and meet expectations for 2022 and beyond?

Challenges Abound – A Global Talent Shortage Compounded by Rising Costs

Based on our report, It’s Not a Talent War; It’s a New Reality – 2022 Key Issues in Global Sourcing, GBS headcount growth is expected to be steady, with average growth moving from 4-5% in 2020 to 8-10% in 2021. However, with the current global talent shortage and inflation rates reaching as high as about 15% for some roles in 2021, expectations for salary will increase by about 8.1% in 2022.

The talent shortage will not be a brief bump in the road and will require short- and long-term strategies. We’re seeing declining population pyramids across North America and Europe, which means fewer new working-age people in the coming years. Specifically, 2.4 million fewer new workers are coming into the market than in the past five to ten years. India will bring 1.8 million more people into the workforce in the next few years but is showing an impending decline about ten years out.

Top Priorities for GBS Leaders in 2022

GBS leaders should act swiftly in 2022 to make addressing these challenges a priority. Our Key Issues study reports that GBS organizations plan to make cost improvement their number one priority. With the current talent shortage, GBS organizations must also focus on shaping the workforce they have today, including better integrating a future hybrid working model and reskilling and upskilling their workforce to meet evolving needs, among other strategies. Finally, even though GBS organizations thrived during the pandemic, many are getting back on the innovation and growth path and picking up projects that were sidelined during 2020.

Five Actions GBS Leaders Should Take to Address 2022’s Challenges

As GBS leaders rethink cost and talent strategies in 2022, what actions should they consider today and in the coming months to continue delivering value?

Action #1 – Advance Efforts to Shift to Hybrid – If You Fail to Plan, You Should Plan to Fail

In 2022, GBS leaders will look at adjusting their leadership, governance, operating, and talent models to ensure career growth and preserve productivity.

As workers moved to a work from home (WFH) model during the pandemic, most were surprised to discover how well employees and organizations adapted. The GBS industry learned ways to manage remote teams very quickly, and many workers today prefer to continue working from home. The hybrid model is emerging as the preferred working model to reach a balance and retain the benefits of working from home and the office. Our research shows that 70% of teams are likely to operate in hybrid models moving forward. However, many have reservations about maintaining performance benchmarks and ensuring data security, among other concerns. But with the pressure to meet the needs of their employees, many are bending to incorporate the hybrid model to avoid risking losing talent to other more flexible organizations.

Action #2 – Reset Expectations on Cost Arbitrage from the GBS Model

We saw wages increase significantly in 2021, many by 10% and more. This increase is more apparent for IT and engineering skills; however, we’re seeing increases across various roles and skills, including finance, supervisory, managerial, senior executives, business operations, and others. We expect an average wage increase of 8.1% in 2022.

GBS leaders will need to rethink how best to control operating costs. This could be done by assessing the scale of real estate needed or managing talent to retain value without overspending. Leaders will also need to reset expectations in light of the current changes and challenges and focus more on business impact than historical expectations.

Action #3 – Pivot GBS to Support the CEO Agenda Through Innovation, Transformation, and Operation Resilience

GBS organizations will want to pivot this year to focus on supporting the CEO agenda. With the current challenges top of mind, CEOs are looking for innovation transformation and operational resilience. Mature GBS organizations that aim to deliver an increased services evolution beyond arbitrage can deliver twice as much total business impact, whether through enhanced end-customer experience, accelerated digital transformation, increased productivity, or other methods. To do this, we’re seeing many GBS organizations develop multiple types of Centers of Excellence (CoEs), either within or outside of the GBS, to alleviate cost pressure, an absence of existing capabilities or innovation, or an urgent need for business model or digital transformation. The CoEs might target core operations, IT, talent, automation, or sourcing and vendor management, to name a few, and focus on optimizing and innovating various aspects of people, processes, and technology.

Action #4 – Execute Battle Plans to Navigate the Talent Wars – Understand the Talent Shortage Poses Serious Risks to GBS Model Success

A multi-pronged strategy with various tactics is needed to address short- and long-term talent challenges. These approaches could range from making the best of existing talent through engagement, reskilling/upskilling, and evolving the delivery model to rethink talent acquisition altogether. For example, GBS leaders could consider ways to stand out during college recruiting, find new methods to retain talent, or even look into different locations through options like impact sourcing. Finally, many are considering if now is the time to partner with universities to improve education and training programs and develop more project-ready talent.

Action #5 – Obsess Over Employee Experience

For our final action, GBS organizations should consider how to drive GBS employee experience at the enterprise level. It’s no surprise that enhanced employee experience results in improved productivity, efficiency, and innovation, better retention rates, and, ultimately, increased customer satisfaction. If GBS employees have thriving employee experiences, they will better serve the enterprise functions, business units, and internal and external stakeholders. Further, GBS organizations that focus on improving the employee experience and offer hire-to-retire services will maximize their capabilities and help deliver a better overall customer experience.

To learn more, watch the webinar, “5 Success-driving Actions GBS Organizations Need in 2022,” for expert insights from our analysts and the complete, in-depth breakdown of these five strategy actions. You will also hear from leaders from Cargill and Novartis on their employee value proposition and plans for future working models.

Building Global Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in GBS Organizations to Drive the CEO Agenda

The Global Business Services (GBS) market has witnessed improvement in performance, enhancements in role, and growth across verticals and functions over the years. In fact, the pandemic served as a catalyst for GBS organizations to step up and deliver higher value-add services, becoming a pillar for enterprises to evolve at a much faster rate. However, as the world evolves, GBS organizations need to remain agile to keep up with advancing technologies, navigate the recent talent shortage, and maintain cost competitiveness and accelerate innovation to help drive the CEO agenda.

To achieve these multiple priorities, many GBS organizations are building Centers of Excellence (CoEs), which further facilitate collaboration and speed-up transformation and delivery for the enterprise. CoEs are entities that work across business (BU)s units, or product lines within a BU, and provide leading-edge knowledge and capabilities in targeted areas. CoEs have proven instrumental for GBS organizations to drive initiatives and deliver access to high-demand skills and competencies, accelerating improvements and pushing efforts forward for faster execution.

The five types of CoEs that drive the CEO agenda

The role of the GBS organization needs to pivot toward creating strategic impact for the CEO. CoEs and competency centers within GBS organizations are designed to streamline and set actionable steps for the CEO’s agenda and critical priorities. The following five types of CoEs help enterprises to drive stronger business performance.

Core operations and corporate services CoE: This CoE focuses on developing expertise for multiple departments within the enterprise, including reporting, finance, marketing, customer onboarding, and core operations

Next-generation IT and digital technologies CoE: This CoE targets the development and management of new skills and technologies, such as AI, analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain, and testing

Talent CoE: The talent CoE develops the strategic services, capabilities, and best practices for staffing, e-learning, and employee onboarding

Automation and/or innovation CoE: Today’s strategic CEOs are looking to quickly advance their organizations’ automation and innovation maturity. This CoE is dedicated to cultivating these initiatives within the enterprise and deploying and scaling technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation (IA)

Global sourcing and vendor management CoE: The goals of global sourcing and vendor management within organizations are often changing to keep up with market trends. This CoE provides CEOs with needed processes, insight, and agility to manage their sourcing and vendor models as market trends fluctuate

Going into 2022, these five types of CoEs, built within GBS organizations, can advance and strengthen enterprises and push strategies toward next-generation digital technologies, automation, and innovation. We covered this in more detail in our webinar, 5 Success-driving Actions GBS Organizations Need in 2022.

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Why GBS organizations are the right candidates for building CoEs

Multiple factors play into why GBS organizations are good candidates for building CoEs and ultimately offer significant benefits to enterprises and the CEO agenda. These include:

  • Deep process, domain, and technology expertise, providing a superior overall experience for the enterprise
  • Access to next-generation and niche skills at competitive costs, which accelerate enterprises’ digital transformations
  • Through a microcosm effect, offering high cross-functional and regional impact, the GBS-built CoE improves new product and services development
  • The ability to drive fast-paced, low-cost innovation enables top-line growth throughout the enterprise
  • Alignment with organizational culture and business goals improve overall productivity

How to develop an effective CoE

The various aspects of developing an effective CoE should be charted out to accelerate enterprise-wide adoption. Setting up a CoE is the first step for a GBS to embark on excellence, but it needs to ensure that it takes the right actions to establish success.

  • The first step is to map out a vision and strategy, think through possible risks, and mitigate them
  • Defining a governance and engagement model between the CoE and the enterprise is paramount to ensure that those goals and strategies are communicated, carried out, and met
  • GBS organizations will also need to design a talent model structured around growth and establish funding and financing mechanisms to initiate the process. Once the team is structured and goals are set, GBS organizations should incorporate a way to measure success through performance metrics and KPIs to collect the best data on impact delivered

Best practices for setting up a CoE

CoEs are designed to bring expertise and forward-thinking guidance, which often means taking risks and adapting; however, here are a few best practices to keep in mind when setting up CoEs:

Clearly articulate the “why”: If there is not enough clarity, the CoE is unlikely to deliver results aligned with the enterprises’ strategy

Take an entity-wide view: Combine the business case with an internal assessment of the company’s vision and strategy, requirements, and capabilities to identify concrete opportunity cases

Clearly define the governance and organizational model: The CoE should articulate the governance mechanism, reporting model, roles and responsibilities, and business units supported, so all parties are aware

Talent is the most critical success enabler: Leadership and team skills are often the most critical factor for a CoE’s success. Consider collaborating with external partners such as startups and academic institutions to fill gaps

Aim for quick wins in the initial stages to gain visibility and confidence: Select early use cases that allow the enterprise to develop confidence in the CoE

Ensure strong engagement and precise stakeholder management: Secure the right sponsorship at the right time, preferably in the early stages

For more information on how GBS CoE’s can drive the CEO agenda, watch our webinar, 5 Success-driving Actions GBS Organizations Need in 2022.

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What Does the Great Resignation Mean for GCCs | Blog

As we look past 2021 and the pandemic, it has become apparent that we are entering 2022 with a completely different and equally challenging set of issues. For the past several years, the “talent war” has had a special emphasis on the demand for high-end digital talent. Today, the challenge to find talent has become widespread across industries and departments and has spiraled into rising attrition rates, higher internal salary demands from employees, and increasing billing rates across a range of job skill sets.

Read more in my blog on NASSCOM’s website


The Road Ahead for GCCs – 2022 and Beyond | Blog

At the forefront of innovation across products and processes, Global Capability Centers (GCCs) today are creating a competitive advantage for their global enterprises and those based in India are particularly well-positioned to accelerate to the next level. With increasing global leadership roles, these Centers are providing end-to-end support on complex work areas to deliver business impact that goes well beyond cost savings and operational improvement.

Year 2021 saw many GCCs initiate their transition to a new normal post the pandemic – one anchored on increased endorsement for the GCC model, increasing responsibilities beyond traditional workstreams, and accelerated adoption of digital technologies. However, these organizations will still face the challenges of navigating through factors such as accessing niche talent, adopting newer digital technologies, handling rising consumer expectations, increasing demand for analytics, and rapidly transforming business models driving the need to regularly recalibrate strategies.

According to Everest Group conversations with more than 100 GCCs to learn their priorities in planning for 2022 and beyond, the following five areas emerged as being critical to the success of these Centers.

Read more on NASSCOM


Why Is There a Surge in Companies Building Global Services Centers? | Blog

The business world is changing quickly and affecting decisions as to whether a company brings work back in house that it previously outsourced to third-party service providers, outsources functions that previously were in house, or builds their own Global Business Services (GBS) centers in regions like India, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, and even in US territories such as Puerto Rico. This results in a fast-moving set of changing ecosystems. Why? And how will the increase in GBS centers affect the third-party services model?

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Future of Work from Home in GBS Organizations – Separating Hype from Reality | Blog


COVID-19 has fundamentally altered the Work From Home (WFH) proposition for global organizations, prompting a shift from opportunistic leverage in 2020 to rapid integration of WFH within the future delivery model strategy. Now that the dust is settling a bit from the global health crisis, WFH strategy design and implementation will be critical to ensuring global business services (GBS) organizations’ future success. And WFH will look far different than it did in 2020.

Key learnings from 2020

Most organizations successfully transitioned to scaled remote delivery models with minimal service delivery disruptions in response to COVID-19. This experience has served as a critical proof of concept, and exposed key learnings and opportunity areas associated with scaled WFH delivery.

Let us take a closer look at several key things we learned while conducting the research for our recently published report, Future of Work-From-Home in GBS – Separating Hype from Reality:

  • Employee preferences have evolved as the pandemic unfolded, from a strong preference for full-time/partial WFH to a choice between WFH/WFO in a hybrid delivery modelPicture1 2
  • Overall productivity has either sustained or increased for most organizations. That said, there are issues building below the surface and concerns around false positives, i.e., increase in productivity driven by higher efficiency or higher throughput
  • WFH can drive the next wave of cost optimization across locations for GBS organizations, though true savings will depend on their ability to exploit underlying levers such as real estate, technology, and talent
  • WFH has opened new opportunity areas, like accessing new talent markets, improving retention, and enhancing the employee experience, for improving the GBS talent model
  • WFH is prompting a shift toward a more holistic hub, spoke, and satellite model to enable hybrid delivery models and enhance employee choice and internal workforce mobility
  • Regulatory environment is still an unknown, though governments are taking a proactive approach to define policies such as taxation and labor laws to enable hybrid delivery going forward
  • The WFH model is lucrative but comes with complexities like employee fatigue, potential loss of productivity, work-life balance, and loss of organizational culture that cannot be downplayed

Our interactions with leading GBS organizations over the last 12 months revealed multiple key themes that will determine the success of a hybrid WFH model going forward:

  • Determining roles adjacency, and how they fit into a hybrid delivery model. This is about understanding implications on office design, real estate right sizing, and the technology interventions needed to enable this shift
  • Training employees, especially front-line managers and new employees, on key aspects of virtual delivery, such as target setting, self-time management, and stress management
  • Clear articulation and understanding of organizational culture, managing the employee experience, and driving collaboration in a virtual environment
  • Managing the contingent/extended workforce, including safeguarding intellectual property, monitoring performance, and sustaining productivity

While many GBS organizations are addressing key WFH-related challenges in an agile manner, they must proactively design their WFH strategy and align it with their parent organization’s needs and objectives.

Building a future proof WFH strategy

As GBS organizations build their future WFH strategy, they need to solve for six key elements.

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  • Work portfolio – GBS organizations must utilize a structured and fact-based approach to identifying the best fit work-types and employees for remote delivery, while ensuring a balance between organizational imperatives and employee choice
  • Talent model – GBS organizations must address multiple talent model changes – including the evolving role of the human workforce, workforce engagement models, talent implications of remote working, and leadership development models – with a focus on adapting the workforce to future delivery models
  • Locations portfolio – As a holistic hub, spoke, and satellite delivery model gains traction, GBS organizations must evaluate the role of nearshore/offshore locations based on feasibility and cost savings offered by the WFH model across locations. As organizations evaluate new markets with attractive talent cost propositions, especially offshore locations, location optimization will likely happen over the next 6 – 12 months
  • Technology and real estate infrastructure – GBS organizations must leverage technology to achieve key organizational objectives, such as enhancing productivity, ensuring security and compliance, and improving the employee experience, and to reimagine the workspace, like floor layout, seat allocation, and office safety equipment, to adapt to the unique demands of a hybrid delivery model
  • Performance management – GBS organizations must identify the right levers and leverage best practices – such as adopting an outcome-driven culture, setting clear goals, and realigning the expectations with remote workers – to drive productivity improvements in a sustained WFH environment
  • Risk management – GBS organizations must proactively identify business, talent, data, and regulatory risks related to the WFH model and mitigate the potential impacts.

The way forward

COVID-19 has presented organizations with a unique opportunity to re-strategize their priorities, optimize their operating models, and develop a robust future-proof WFH strategy. We believe GBS organizations that proactively seize this opportunity will emerge resilient and stronger.

Read our report, Future of Work-From-Home in GBS – Separating Hype from Reality, to gain insights on global organizations’ outlook on the WFH model, the extent of adoption, key design elements and approaches, emerging trends and best practices, and key challenges and success factors to enable a scaled WFH model.

We’d love to hear about your WFH experience and approach to designing a WFH strategy for your GBS organization. Please share with us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Strong Performance in US GBS Model Expected to Continue in 2021 | Blog

New Market Report Shows Digital Services Among Trends Driving GBS Growth

Despite the massive spread of COVID-19 across the US, the Global Business Services (GBS) model continued to grow in this market in 2020, demonstrating that the model, in its many different forms, continues to be integral to enterprise sourcing strategy.

Building on the success over the last two to three decades, GBS organizations diversified extensively and experienced growth in new verticals (such as healthcare and life sciences) and functions (such as legal, R&D, and digital).

Everest Group’s US Global Business Services Market Report provides an extensive assessment of the US GBS landscape and adoption trends, along with a deep dive into the trends leading to increased onshoring in the recent past. The report is based on Everest Group’s proprietary GBS database of more than 5,000 GBS centers.

Among the compelling findings detailed in the research are:

  1. GBS organizations are embracing digital transformation

Both the outsourcing and GBS models continued to grow in the US in 2020, with more than 40 new GBS centers in the first three quarters. However, the pace of growth and new setups were relatively lower than the prior year. Some of the new GBS center setups in 2020 include Amazon, Denso, JP Morgan, and General Motors, to name just a few.

While traditionally, organizations have used US-based GBS organizations for customer care and back-office work, a focus on engineering and R&D (ER&D) and digital services have driven new setups in recent years. Enterprises are increasingly leveraging US-based GBS organizations to build digital hubs, especially for automation, AI, and analytics, with more than 45 percent of the setups in 2020 focused on delivering digital services. This is driven by a couple of factors. First, onshore locations can provide access to high-end talent for innovation and R&D and facilitate closer integration with business stakeholders. Secondly, resiliency shown by GBS organizations during the crisis has increased enterprises’ confidence.

This image illuminates how GBS markets are steadily moving toward digital transformation.


  1. New adopters are driving GBS growth

Surprisingly, the majority of the new GBS setups in the US in the past years were driven by new adopters of the GBS model. This continued in 2020, with more than 70 percent of the new setups by first-time implementers. The growing maturity of the GBS model, success demonstrated by peers, and decreasing obstacles related to transitions, and legal and regulatory environments have enabled new firms to move to the GBS model.

  1. US locations are attractive for GBS

The technology and communication verticals continue to dominate the GBS market in the US, accounting for more than one-third of the total activity. This is followed by manufacturing, which has experienced a significant increase in the share of total setups.

Historically, approximately 90 percent of firms have preferred non-tier-1 locations for GBS set up given attractive cost-talent proposition (within the US) and proximity to select industries. This continued in 2020, with tier-3/4 locations accounting for about 60 percent of new setups. Key tier-3/4 locations include Austin and Pittsburgh.

Positive Trends Emerge for Onshoring   

Traditionally, key factors driving enterprises towards onshoring, especially in the US, have been ease of setup, the proximity of CS services with business and customers, and a familiar operating environment. However, in recent times, the following new drivers have emerged that will continue to contribute to a spike in GBS in the US going forward:

  • Rising demand for digital services – Enterprises are rethinking the role of onshore GBS to build and drive capabilities required to fulfill the demand for digital services
  • Tightening regulatory environment – Tightening regulatory environment (in certain verticals), increased trade protectionism, and rising stringency of visa norms have led to a recent increase in onshore center setups
  • COVID-19-led disruption – While the resiliency shown by GBS organizations during the crisis has increased enterprises’ confidence, they also need to ensure greater control and proximity and reduce their offshore concentration to diversify their risk portfolio


Explore the complete details of the US Global Business Services Market Report by downloading the full report here.

GBS Talent and Skilling Strategies for 2021 and Beyond: A Pinnacle Model® Study | Blog

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Global Business Services (GBS) organizations have positioned themselves as valuable partners of the enterprise, driving enterprises’ top priorities and aligning with overarching objectives. Currently, GBS organizations are evolving to become global talent hubs that house deep-domain expertise and next-generation skills for enterprises. However, with the pace of technology adoption intensifying, it’s becoming more challenging to find talent that can fill next-generation positions.

GBS organizations need a robust, futuristic skilling strategy and will want to take steps to hire talent and educate, train, upskill, and reskill their current workforce to fill these necessary roles. The below image illustrates talent-related issues that are arising for GBS organizations.

GBS talent-related challenges

Getting on the right path with a future-ready workforce

To deliver maximum value, GBS organizations should begin to strategize how to bring in next-generation talent and deliver development opportunities to advance current employees’ abilities and skills. With future-ready talent, GBS organizations will bring even more value to the table, encouraging enterprises to view them as operating units with increased leadership contributions and less as helpers. Having the right talent could also lead to expanding into additional areas in which GBS can be more involved and entrenched with enterprise strategy and decision-making.

Further, skilled talent will provide a competitive advantage for GBS organizations, with the most success coming from those that have invested heavily in their employees’ skills and competencies. Enhancing skills within the workforce will be key to augmenting strengths and differentiators for the GBS model in 2021 and beyond.

Talent strategy focus areas

There are a few specific areas where GBS organizations can adapt when it comes to acquiring talent and advancing current workforce skills, including:

  • Enhancing brand perception in the talent market
  • Utilizing out-of-the-box talent acquisition methods
  • Offering learning and development (L&D) and talent reskilling and upskilling

GBS organizations that are proactive with their talent strategies, open to adopting new tactics, and not tethered to traditional methods are among those that may see the most success.

Enhancing brand perception in the talent market

With access to high-skill capabilities being a top priority for GBS organizations in 2021, there are expected changes to GBS talent-related performance metrics, including a higher bar for quickly finding and hiring talent. Turning to non-traditional methods to catch attention is becoming more common. One of the most effective approaches is a stronger social media presence to boost brand awareness and to be viewed as a desirable place to work. Hiring strategies now include being active in niche group conversations on social media and using hashtags to get in front of the right crowds.

Out-of-the-box talent acquisition methods

GBS organizations are searching out a variety of ways to find talent. Some have found success by hiring talent with specific skills from alternative and adjacent industries. There is also a different approach when it comes to reaching junior-level talent. Organizations are partnering with educational institutions, not just to offer internships, but to co-develop classes and implement projects like campus ambassador programs and hackathons. This gives the student an opportunity to get to know the organization and develop relationships with employees. One other method of attaining niche talent is through acquihiring, where a company will acquire another company, primarily for the skills of the staff.

L&D and talent reskilling and upskilling

As GBS organizations strive to deliver higher-value and multi-function services, they will not only need to find the talent, but work to keep that talent. This could be carried out by incorporating career paths and L&D opportunities, so talent stays trained and relevant on new skills. Many organizations are developing in-house learning for employees through gamification-based programs, making learning fun and improving employee engagement. Another method taking shape is peer-to-peer learning, where employees can come together to be innovative and learn from each other.

By creating a culture of learning, investing in talent, and helping the workforce to continually develop skills, GBS organizations can create a cycle of upskilling and reskilling, which could ultimately close the talent shortage gap for good.

The 2021 Pinnacle Model study for skilling strategies in GBS organizations

To discover more about talent and skilling strategies within GBS organizations, Everest Group and The Conference Board have developed the 2021 Pinnacle Model study. The research accumulated from the study will narrow down future skilling and talent strategies and provide valuable insights around best-in-class, or Pinnacle, skilling strategies in leading GBS organizations based on our proprietary Pinnacle Model framework.

How will this research help you?

By contributing to this study, you will learn how your peers – and the best of the best – are designing and implementing their skilling strategies. We will share a complimentary summary analysis of the survey results highlighting how your organization compares against peer groups with respect to capabilities created and business outcomes achieved.

Take the Study

The GBS Market: Performance in 2020 and Shaping Success in 2021 | Blog

Despite the struggles that COVID-19 threw at all industries across the world, the GBS market not only made it out, it advanced in 2020. Now, in 2021, it continues to be an integral element of the sourcing model, accounting for 27 percent of the global services market.

Everest Group’s GBS State of the Market Report: Top 2021 Priorities for GBS explores the current GBS market, how it arrived where it is today, and peak initiatives for 2021. The report examines landscape and adoption trends for a clear view forward for GBS, including top expectations of enterprises and the role that GBS organizations can play to strengthen their influence within the enterprise.

The report is based on Everest Group’s proprietary GBS database of more than 3,500 offshore/nearshore GBS centers. Throughout this blog, we’ll examine a few of the report’s many compelling findings.

Keeping pace with an agile approach

It was encouraging to discover that both outsourcing and GBS models continued to grow in 2020, albeit at a slower pace than in 2019. More than 200 GBS centers were established across onshore and offshore/nearshore locations in 2020, with the addition of 40,000+ full-time employees (FTEs). Some of the new GBS center set-ups in 2020 include Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Barclays, to name just a few.

Enterprises are increasingly leveraging the GBS model to establish digital hubs and ER&D (engineering and R&D) centers to create successful digital customer and employee experiences. The resiliency and growth shown from the GBS market in 2020 helped to deepen confidence from enterprises. For example, when COVID-19 propelled digital initiative adoption forward across most verticals (technology and communication, Banking Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) firms, manufacturing, retail and CPG, and healthcare and life sciences), GBS organizations saw it as an opportunity to step up and deliver higher value-add digital services for enterprises. These services included expanded digital capabilities in areas such as advanced automation, analytics, cloud, platform-based engineering, etc., to meet evolving enterprise expectations and priorities.

Accelerating digital offerings is one way that GBS organizations can continue to drive operational resiliency and better position themselves as strategic business partners for change management initiatives within enterprises in 2021. This image illuminates how GBS markets are steadily moving in a direction toward digital transformation.

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GBS activity across locations

After the initial shock of the pandemic, Q4 of 2020 witnessed rapid recovery, especially across India, Rest of Nearshore Europe, and Rest of Asia.

The below image portrays GBS market activity by delivery location and the number of new set-ups. Interestingly, only 13 percent of the companies that set up GBS centers in tier-2/3 locations in 2020 already had GBS centers in tier-1 locations; the remaining 87 percent of companies were exploring the offshore GBS model for the first time.

Additionally, 40 percent of GBS organizations in the report are examining geographic diversification, and 30 percent are looking into the adoption of small-scale/satellite centers to better manage both risk and future cost structures.

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GBS across industries and functions

Across industries, the technology and communication vertical continued to dominate the market, contributing to more than half of the new center set-ups in 2020. The BFSI firms were next in line, accounting for one-third of the headcount (FTEs to date), followed by manufacturing.

Forging into 2021 and beyond

The GBS market stood its ground as the pandemic swept through, and in the end, it has come out a more evolved industry with overall improvement in performance. However, GBS organizations will need to continue to evolve in the aftermath of COVID-19 and as the needs of enterprises shift. GBS organizations should focus on:

  • Refining overall productivity as it will be the next frontier beyond scaled arbitrage
  • A robust, futuristic workforce strategy that can unlock high-talent capabilities
  • Taking a larger picture view of WFH to confirm the model aligns with overall talent goals and targeted growth
  • Creating a holistic and design principle-led global workforce strategy
  • A clear path for digital transformation, which will be paramount throughout 2021 and years after
  • Ensuring cost-competitiveness to avoid third-party economic comparisons
  • Opportunities where GBS organizations can strengthen and expand their influence with enterprises and meet evolving expectations, for example, moving from being viewed as just the enterprise’s helper to an entity that can help shape ideation, design, and even influence major initiatives

Explore complete details of the GBS State of the Market Report: Top 2021 Priorities for GBS by downloading the full report here.

We’d love to hear about your GBS strategy, please reach out to us at [email protected] or [email protected].




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