Tag: GBS

So, You Want to be Promoted to GBS Leader | Blog

A man looks up at a series of ladders that lead him to the next level, eventually reaching the top.

Ever notice how few folks within a global business services (GBS) operation are promoted to leader when the top dog goes onto other pastures? Wonder why there’s a glass or concrete ceiling for incumbents who know the business, have mastered GBS management concepts, and have proved their loyalty to the cause? The recent promotion of a second-level incumbent executive to the top role got me thinking: with the increasing operational complexity of this thing we call global business services, a greater appreciation for the value of understanding business context and what we call stakeholder engagement and the dearth of really good talent, why aren’t more number 2s being asked to take over the GBS helm?

Look around you: the top GBS jobs are either going to the few experts who move from GBS to GBS, or to what I call “loyalists” —controllers/general managers in the business who are being asked to take on the role. It’s a puzzlement—with so much capability now being built up in the GBS leadership ranks, why are so few promoted to the captain of the GBS ship? Can you name leaders you’ve seen dance on industry podiums whose resumes include long careers climbing the GBS ladder in one company? To be fair, perhaps there are a few, but it’s a bit of a headscratcher to produce more than a handful of names.

After pondering the question over several sleepless nights, I came up with a few blockers:

  • GBS is a model, not a function with defined hierarchies that are based on mastery of certain types of work. Defined career paths with expected time in grade do not exist as they do in finance, procurement, or even operations. Therefore, when looking for new leadership, the enterprise is unable to evaluate what it needs and the talent it has in its own GBS. As a result, it often looks to the market, saying, “I want one of those,” usually a leader in the same sector because their track record is easier to understand.
  • When an enterprise wants change and chucks out a leader, GBS incumbents are naturally tarred with the same brush. Taking out a broom for a GBS clean sweep is the lazy enterprise’s way out. Why do they believe that the only talent is in the top seat, and if that talent leaves or is deposed, no one else can step effectively into their shoes?
  • Top GBS posts are increasingly seen as an attractive development rotation for high-potential management talent in the business. When there is an opening at the top, it’s convenient to appoint someone who knows the business and has a strong reputation. Where else in the enterprise can a leader gain a purview across the business, manage globally, and harness the power of existing relationships to move the dial? And there are usually few slots for such talent; the GBS leader role is one of very few.
  • The enterprise doesn’t know what capabilities make a good GBS leader. Dare I say it, but few enterprises—or indeed the industry—have decoded what it takes to be a great GBS leader. It’s hard to recognize GBS leadership capability when you’ve never defined it.
  • Bought-in leaders are less likely to care about legacy. With a fair number of dare-i-say-it “itinerant” leaders who flit in and out of GBS roles on three-to-six-year rotations, building a talent legacy is often not front and center. All of their energy is focused on making fast, visible change; building bench strength is rarely a top goal.
  • Succession planning is not a priority. Shame on GBS organizations and their HR departments; GBS organizations are, in the main, terrible at thoughtful succession planning. Because GBS organizations do not have an institutionalized hierarchy (think finance supervisor/manager/director and so forth) and its career paths can be wild and wonderful, it takes some focus to create succession plans that deliver for both the enterprise and GBS professional.
  • Internal GBS talent is buried under a rock. Mature leaders know that it’s all about the team. Yet, all too often, bought-in leaders have savior syndrome; only he or she, riding in on a white horse, can salvage or move GBS to the next level. This “career narcissism” hurts talent that only needs a bit of sunlight to shine. But they aren’t allowed it when the ego of the leader gets in the way.
  • Career pathing is often inadequate. We tend to create fairly orthodox, siloed career pathways, even in GBS models. Operators are usually tracked into larger, more global operating roles. Transition managers go from leading projects to managing teams. Change managers might get a bigger role. But all too often in the GBS world, we don’t take the opportunity to help our talent build the capabilities that usher them into roles that help them attain the top job through cross-training and challenge roles.
  • The enterprise brings in a search or HR consultant who “benchmarks” internal team members against market experts, ignoring the power of context. Since GBS models are highly contextual—each enterprise’s challenges are different—assuming that there is such thing as a market concept candidate is naïve. These search and HR folks don’t live and breathe GBS, so when they categorically declare that a background such as Mr. X is the profile to aspire to, internal talent can be given short shrift in the evaluation process.
  • Global operating experience is usually table stakes. Transformation and strategy roles are critical to success, but enterprises look for operating track records with P&L responsibility in their GBS leaders—“run the business.” That’s not to say a transformer cannot attain the top role; it just throws up another barrier for leaders who are good at “changing the business.”

However, some markers suggest that there is some route for internal talent to attain the top job. Looking around, I found that there are a few instances where enterprises are more likely to promote from within its GBS ranks:

  • When there is a recognized succession plan with an underlying development program: When the organization plans for GBS leader retirement or has programs to promote them into other enterprise roles, succession planning tends to be more formal. Likely, there is a conscientious effort to groom high-performing GBS leaders into position to take the top role.
  • If there is a crisis and someone senior in the team needs to step in quickly: If an internal GBS leader gets a field promotion to lead upon the sudden departure of the head, or some other change in the business, and they are well-prepared, odds increase that a temporary role might become permanent.
  • When the head aggressively positions their key team members as leaders and deploys them as their proxy in the business: When a leader has full confidence in their team, it’s easy to create opportunities for the exposure necessary to position their leaders as successors. And there is an added advantage; leadership becomes interoperable, so the GBS brand extends beyond the top role.

Granted, there are challenges to internal promotion into top GBS  roles. But, as in any career progression, responsibility also falls to the aspiring leader. What can talented number 2s do to position themselves for GBS leadership?

  • Take charge of your career. Don’t expect that a rising tide will raise all ships. Ultimately, you—and only you—must take responsibility for career orchestration. Actively recognize and seek opportunities for development and exposure, and position yourself for promotion. And, if it’s not in the cards, be brave enough to seek advancement elsewhere at the right time.
  • Develop a strong personal internal brand. From experience, most internal appointments accrue to those who understand and can actively navigate the culture and its values. Make sure that when someone hears your name or meets you, your (good) reputation precedes you.
  • Demand job rotations outside of GBS. Not only do rotations give the aspiring leader exposure to more stakeholders, but they also provide an opportunity to learn the business. You will not only become more valuable to the GBS, but you will also be seen as a leader with a more versatile skillset.
  • Get close to key stakeholders. Read the tea leaves, identify stakeholders who are staunch supporters of GBS and likely to influence its future. Reach out to them for advice, for mentoring, and seek to understand their challenges.
  • Take on GBS stretch roles. Move out of your comfort zone into GBS roles that will require you to attain new skills and build new capabilities. If you are a transformer, take on an operator role. If you are an operator, assume some strategic responsibility. Enterprises need well-rounded leaders, especially those who know how to manage a P&L and lead people. Make sure your resume reflects that of a top leader, not an expert in process, transformation, or solutioning.

Last, here’s a sobering thought for our GBS leaders and the bosses they serve to think about. Too many leaders think they—and they alone—are the brand of GBS. They don’t have building a legacy on their agendas, or building a sustainable organization by nurturing viable internal successors. And the enterprise is guilty of not making the development of internal successors a priority. When they approach leadership by going out to the market every 3-6 years, are they throwing up GBS strategy to see what sticks rather than promulgating a sustainable business model?

Global In-house Center-focused Capabilities – Provider PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2023


As global in-house centers (GICs) gain traction worldwide, enterprises are seeking insights into how to effectively leverage providers to grow their GICs. This pursuit has gained greater significance in today’s turbulent economic climate, where enterprises grapple with substantial talent and cost pressures. In their endeavor to cultivate or expand their in-house delivery capabilities, enterprises are increasingly open to receiving assistance from providers. Within this context, enterprises can seek provider support in three primary areas: establishing GICs (largely through assisted, joint venture, and build-operate-transfer models), carving out GICs, and transforming GICs.

However, as enterprises assess the market to identify a suitable partner to support them in this endeavor, they are confronted with multiple options, ranging from major global providers to more specialized local counterparts. The abundance of options can cause confusion among enterprises, for whom this is a very strategic and critical decision.

GICfocused Capabilities PEAK 2023 2

What is in this PEAK Matrix® Report

In this report, we leverage Everest Group’s proprietary PEAK Matrix® framework to evaluate 12 providers’ global in-house center-focused capabilities across two key dimensions – market impact and vision and capability. The research will help enterprises select the right-fit provider for their needs, while providers will be able to benchmark themselves against the competition.

In this report, we:

  • Categorize 12 providers as Leaders, Major Contenders, and Aspirants
  • Study providers’ key strengths and limitations


  • All industries and geographies

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What is the PEAK Matrix®?

The PEAK Matrix® provides an objective, data-driven assessment of service and technology providers based on their overall capability and market impact across different global services markets, classifying them into three categories: Leaders, Major Contenders, and Aspirants.

LEARN MORE ABOUT Top Service Providers

Storytelling in GCC Organizations – Mastering the Art of Compelling Narratives | Blog

Storytelling is a powerful tool for establishing meaningful connections, fostering collaboration, and conveying brand essence. Global Capability Centers (GCCs) can use storytelling to transcend geographic and cultural barriers to effectively communicate their vision and value to diverse audiences. Discover the benefits, key factors for effective storytelling, and pitfalls to avoid in this blog.

In the realm of GCC organizations, they aimed high,
chasing growth, influence, and visibility in the sky.

Driven by ambition and relentless pursuit,
they found themselves caught in a different route.

Day-by-day operations took the lead,
communication, alas, began to recede.

Lost in the web of tasks and demands,
the art of connection slipped from their hands.

A challenging phase started to unfold,
as silence replaced the stories once told.

In this void, misunderstandings grew,
and collaboration became few.

But fear not, for there is hope yet,
to break free from this entangled net.

Let us reclaim the power of words,
and reignite the stories waiting to be heard.

So let us weave narratives, both bold and true,
reviving the art that brings us through.

In the symphony of voices, let us find,
the harmony that unites and binds.

Challenges GCCs face

In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, the imperative for GCCs to tell their stories effectively has become more crucial than ever. While most GCCs have successfully delivered upon their initial mandates for growth, concerns are mounting that they are increasingly viewed as mere offshore role aggregators as opposed to value generators. And that’s the case – values such as customer churn reduction and product differentiation are being created in several GCCs, harnessing the power of digital and improved business context.

Unfortunately, amidst the demands of day-to-day operations, the art of storytelling and celebrating great stories has taken a backseat, overshadowed by immediate-term priorities such as delivery management. However, by prioritizing storytelling GCCs can reap many benefits and drive meaningful outcomes.

  1.Why should GCC organizations learn to tell their stories effectively?

A significant number of GCCs today lack a comprehensive approach to measuring the value they generate and struggling to articulate it to their global counterparts. This challenge was highlighted during the 2023 nasscom GCC conclave, where many leaders raised the question of value articulation. While the majority of organizations track metrics such as cost per full-time equivalent (FTE) and operational benchmarks such as service level agreement (SLA) attainment and retention, measuring value beyond arbitrage remains challenging. Organizations often lack robust mechanisms to quantify contributions made through new scope and initiatives that are unique to the GCC.

  2. Build a stronger business case for new opportunities – scale operations across the enterprise

Successful GCCs have articulated the value they bring to the business by presenting their ability to take up new scope and engagement models through in-depth analysis of in-house capabilities and effective pitching. Pitches addressing multiple dimensions, including the business impact for the global enterprise, the cost of delivering desired outcomes, the impact on talent and operating models, and the scalability of proposed initiatives, often resonate better than solely highlighting business metrics.

Let’s consider the example of a GCC of a leading life sciences firm that proved the GCC’s ability to build effective teams across multiple therapeutic areas by centralizing capabilities such as market research, analytics, and generating insights. The GCC also is now engaging in multiple chargeback models as well, such as FTE-based fees for some processes and transaction-based for others. Effective storytelling has been a critical success factor for the GCC in its evolution journey.

  3. Support broader change management initiatives – Move communications beyond just another email!

Change management has become a crucial capability for GCCs, particularly as they drive organization-wide initiatives. While Change Management and communication are not necessarily synonymous, communication forms an integral underlying element. Many organizations overlook the significance of crafting compelling narratives that highlight the rationale behind the change, its benefits, and its relevance to individuals and the overall organization. Building change enablers requires a strong foundation in effective storytelling that communicates why this change is important for the organization and its employees. It ensures that everyone is taken along on this journey – fully presenting the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The state of GBS change management is a conundrum
The state of GBS change management is a conundrum

  4. Create a compelling employer brand

Do your employees and target talent pool understand your employee value proposition (EVP)? It’s time to tell them.

Maintaining a positive brand image remains critical for attracting and retaining high-quality talent. Employees with specialized functional and behavioral skills are becoming ever more critical to sustained organizational success as the market gets more competitive. The biggest gap we see is companies investing in building and offering a differentiated strong EVP but doing little to ensure their employees and prospective candidates understand it. This creates a problem because people cannot appreciate what they do not know. Consequently, perception becomes reality and significantly impacts decisions, mostly unfavorably for employees.

Storytelling forms an essential component of maintaining and strengthening branding. In several GCC organizations today, a significant disparity exists between internal pulse ratings and external perceptions observed via third-party platforms. To bridge the gap and foster a more cohesive work environment, organizations must enhance internal communication about initiatives and efforts undertaken for employees alongside structural EVP upgrades.

Everest Group recently published the second edition of the Top GBS Employers™ report, revealing the following important insights:

  • The employer initiatives initiated by India GBS in 2022 have had a significant impact on brand perception
  • While approximately 60% of the top GBS employers from 2022 have maintained their positions, about 40% have slipped down
  • At the same time, many GBS employers have positively improved brand perception n year-over-year, driven by initiatives that created a superior employee experience
  • Implementing employee initiatives often takes time to have a noticeable impact on brand perception
  • Market sensitivity revalidates the conviction that GBS employers need consistent efforts to maintain their brand perception, as complacency can result in a negative impact on the GBS brand
Everest Group Top GBS Employers™ 2023 – India
Everest Group Top GBS Employers™ 2023 – India

  5. Focus on the X-factor to better serve the enterprise – prioritize employee experience

Managing experience can benefit three distinct stakeholder groups – employees in the GCC, the internal customer experience, and the end customer experience. While established metrics and approaches exist for managing end customer experience, the same level of focus is often lacking within the organization. Increasingly, many GCC organizations are building dedicated groups responsible for managing internal stakeholder experience. These teams act as liaisons between GCC and their global counterparts to identify pain points, investigate factors leading to multiple hand-offs and iterations, and find effective solutions.

What have you adopted to drive customer and internal network/employee experience from your GBS? 

Built a dedicated experience team focusing on enhancing experience across all stakeholder groups


Role limited to managing experience for internal network, i.e., different entities/BUs/GBS, and employees


Limited support currently, but area prioritized for 2023


Still in exploratory phase, with focus currently prioritized on BAU and other value-addition initiatives


Currently not on agenda


Source: Sustaining Momentum: Key Priorities for GBS Leaders Amid Economic Uncertainty

Pitfalls to avoid in storytelling

To ensure effective storytelling, organizations need to be aware of common stumbling blocks such as:

  • Lacking clarity of the priorities of audiences they are targeting
  • Waiting for big-bang events to amplify success or exaggerating one-time events (for example, highlighting new automation that only led to a 10% productivity improvement)
  • Relying too heavily on specific groups of individuals to drive communication, without balancing the need for a storytelling philosophy in the organization’s DNA versus channeling it all through dedicated groups
  • Not having a coordinated communication strategy across the organization

Enablers for effective storytelling

Several factors can contribute to successfully using this communication approach, including:

  • Providing soft-skills training for first-line managers to improve communication
  • Implementing robust systems to capture and communicate the value-add contributions across businesses
  • Having a communications team with dedicated social media strategy and guidelines to ensure consistency in communication across businesses
  • Striking a balance in styles that doesn’t overcommunicate or dilute the message

As GCC organizations mature and move closer to the end customer, they must recognize the immense value of a strong storytelling capability. Whether embedded in their culture or embraced as a guiding philosophy, storytelling becomes a powerful tool to forge meaningful connections, inspire collaboration, and convey the essence of their brand.

We strongly believe that by crafting compelling narratives, GCCs can transcend geographical barriers and cultural differences, effectively communicating their vision and values to diverse audiences. By embracing storytelling as a strategic lever, GCC organizations can amplify their impact, cultivate meaningful connections, and strengthen their position in an ever-evolving landscape.

Check out Everest Group’s recently published report, State of Play in GBS Change Management, to learn more about change management in GBS.

Check out Everest Group’s recently published report to know more about employer branding in GBS.

Will India’s Silicon Valley Lose Its “Top Global Services Destination” Crown to the City of Pearls? | Blog

With its high-quality talent, state-of-the-art infrastructure for delivering advanced technological services, and strong government support, Hyderabad has ascended as a top global services destination. These factors have helped the city gain a competitive edge and establish itself as a hub for innovation and excellence. But does Hyderabad have what it takes to surpass Bangalore as the foremost global services destination in the future? Let’s delve into this question in this blog.

During a client meeting in Hyderabad earlier this month, our analyst team arrived a little earlier than expected and was immediately struck by the futuristic ambiance of the impressive facility. It felt like we had stepped into a scene from a sci-fi movie. Face-scanning machines warmly greeted employees at the entrance, lush greenery adorned office walls, breathing life into the space, and solar panels powered the entire establishment. The energy was palpable as confident associates eagerly looked forward to the start of the work week.

In contrast to the thriving atmosphere we saw in Hyderabad, the environment in Bangalore is comparatively subdued as India’s capital city seems to be grappling with the impacts of the economic downturn. The two cities present a stark juxtaposition in terms of their future growth trajectories.

This positive outlook for Hyderabad has become a common sight across multiple Global Capability Centers (GCC). The city has shown admirable growth and resiliency during the past two years, recording one of the country’s highest growth rates for global service delivery. Remarkably, Hyderabad surpassed Bangalore for GCC delivery setups during H1 2023, highlighting its exceptional performance in this sector. Let’s explore the implications of this further.

GCC delivery center set-ups in 2023: Hyderabad versus Bangalore

Learn more about Everest Group’s AI-powered insights platform, Talent Genius™.

Since the early 1990s, when India started its services journey, Bangalore has been the top city, attracting maximum interest for global services delivery. Other tier-1 Indian cities, such as Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune, also have recorded impressive growth.

However, it was not until H1 2023 that the “City of Pearls,” Hyderabad, surpassed Bangalore, the “Silicon Valley” in GCC setup activity. During this period, more than 40 global companies established or expanded their Acceleration Centers, Centers of Excellence (CoEs), Centers of Innovation, and R&D centers in Hyderabad.

This trend is also reflected in the growth of technology jobs in the city. Hyderabad’s share of tech jobs, as a percentage of overall technology jobs in India, has surged from 33% to 44% during 2021-22. Simultaneously, the demand for non-tech services continues to grow, reflecting strong investor sentiment.

Hyderabad has traditionally been a stronghold for pharmaceutical enterprises. However, the city’s appeal has now expanded beyond this industry. Over the years, the city has also attracted multiple Fortune 500 giants from aerospace, manufacturing, retail services, pharmaceuticals, and professional services industry verticals.

The diversity extends beyond industries alone and also encompasses the types of services being delivered to clients from these centers across the globe. For example, Goldman Sachs is expanding its delivery footprint for engineering services and business innovation by employing over 2000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), FedEx is establishing a center of innovation for supply chain optimization, and Lloyds Banking Group is utilizing the location for delivering cybersecurity services. Other organizations such as Apollo Tyres, DAZN, Ocugen, Pi Square, and Warner Bros. Discovery also are leveraging the location for a wide variety of services.

Alongside this diversity, the city is displaying future readiness. These enterprises have delivered an increased concentration of technology, encompassing a wide range of advanced services such as animation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), visual effects (VFX), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR).

Hyderabad’s winning formula

Hyderabad’s proposition has been anchored on two critical factors – high-quality talent and world-class infrastructure. The city has witnessed growth in both the quality and quantity of talent, fueled by its reputation as an educational hub that houses globally-recognized institutions such as ISB, IIIT, and BITS Pilani.

This skilled talent pool has contributed to the growth of various industries, including IT, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and finance. Efforts by both private players and the government to enhance skill development and increase the talent pipeline are underway, such as the collaborative postgraduate diploma (PGDM) program by IMT Hyderabad and HCL Technologies.

Hyderabad’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and seamless connectivity, including a well-developed road network and an expanding metro rail system, have improved commuting and accessibility. In contrast to Bangalore’s high cost of living and infamous traffic congestion, Hyderabad offers a more affordable lifestyle without compromising quality.

The unwavering government support has amplified the impact of both Hyderabad’s talent and infrastructure. The state government has implemented multiple initiatives to improve the conduciveness of the city’s business environment and foster growth.

One notable example is setting up “Hyderabad Pharma City,” the proposed world’s largest integrated pharmaceutical industry cluster that already has received interest from 500 companies. Additionally, the government’s “Hyderabad Vision 2023” plan prioritizes infrastructural development, skill enhancement programs, and improving the ease of doing business.

The commitment to fostering a conducive business environment is evident by the regular engagement between state ministers, especially K.T. Rama Rao, Minister of IT of Telangana, and top corporate executives. Several announcements of new center setups and expansions, including those from Mondee Holdings, Storable, Rite Software, Tekgence, Zapcom, and Charles Schwab Corporation, resulted from the minister’s trip to the United States this May.

A trifecta of unique factors – high-quality talent in a diverse ecosystem and state-of-the-art infrastructure to deliver advanced technological services backed by unyielding government support – has propelled Hyderabad’s ascent and contributed to its competitive edge.

This leads us to address the elephant in the room, “Will Hyderabad dethrone Bangalore as the top global services destination for enterprises in the coming years?”

In our view, Bangalore is and will continue to operate as the largest and most mature global services destination in India for the short term, riding on its solid talent proposition, especially the ability to support niche and emerging technology skills.

However, when gazing into the crystal ball and contemplating the next 7-10 years, we see Hyderabad in a captivating race, with Bangalore positioning itself as a formidable competitor for the crown of the “Top Global Services Destination in India.”

Everest Group’s dedicated team of analysts tracks 30-plus cities in India and more than 300 cities globally from a global services perspective. If you have questions or would like to discuss global services destination topics, please feel free to reach out to [email protected], or [email protected]

Contact us to learn more about popular global services locations.

Don’t miss our webinar, Masterclass in Managing Your Locations Portfolio and Workforce Strategies, for valuable insights and actionable advice to optimize your locations portfolio and maximize returns.

No Longer Fit for Purpose – Time to Change the GBS Organization Construct | Blog

Lately, I’ve been sleepless about the fact that GBS evolution appears to be stuck in a rut. As much as we talk about integrated or digital GBS, moving along the path to a more evolved state seems to be stalled or even stopped. Innovation at best seems to be incremental. The pursuit of cost savings rather than other sources of value still reigns. And the talent construct is so very 2010.

Now I have to confess, I always believed that if a GBS collects a merry band of smart people, the organization structure didn’t matter very much. I thought in such platitudes as “the cream will rise to the top” or “they’ll figure it out.” After all, GBS is a model and not hardwired into the enterprise, with a set-in-stone hierarchy of managers, supervisors, controllers, and business partners. But as we’ve matured, and gained more acceptance in the enterprise operating model, have we become dead-set in our ways, digging into organizational structures that are no longer fit for purpose?

In the early days of shared services/GBS, the big lever for value creation was moving work offshore to obtain labor arbitrage. As a result, two design principles drove our organizational construct—functional alignment and regional relationship management/delivery control. Since we started our journey as single function shared services organizations, usually starting with finance and then adding new towers, we continued to replicate the structure by adding tower leads, giving them a great deal of decision-making authority. And, as the imperative to manage regional stakeholders and supervise near-and offshore delivery became apparent,  we added regional delivery leads to our structure.

Fast forward 15 years or so, and not much has changed. If we’ve moved beyond single-function shared service models, we more often than not look like a consolidator of functional shared services delivery operations under one roof, usually with a thin team of enabling capabilities at the top of the house—think governance, performance management, maybe change or service management. GBS has become an organizational construct—put everyone who leads a functional back-of-the-house operation under one leader and hope that the whole is larger than the sum of the parts.

But today the drive is to move to operational GBS constructs. Our organizations must evolve to bring more value by delivering end-to-end, driving experience, moving rapidly to digitization, and providing new capabilities to the enterprise. Are our organization structures able to deliver? Or are we restrained by the way we are organized? How do you unleash the power of the team with a dated organization structure?

And the inability to evolve creates another challenge for GBS organizations. When the focus is on functional shared services, it’s very easy to deconstruct a GBS.

Here’s a bit of a litany of GBS organizational heresy:

  • We shout our ambition to move to end-to-end delivery, but we support a functional tower lead structure, for whom any change usually disrupts their kingdoms. Service tower leaders in most GBS organizations work in silos, call the shots and own the majority of the decision rights
  • We talk about the criticality of pan-GS enabling practicesbut we allow functional leaders—or sometimes their regional counterparts—to embed capabilities such as project, change, and transition management—in their towers, getting in the way of pan-GBS leverage and the development of consistent methodologies
  • We say change management is the key driver of GBS success, but we hire inexperienced juniors, focus them primarily on transition tasks, and bury them levels down under a transition or transformation leader
  • We say our customer is the business, but we align delivery to the function, often unable to create the benefits that the segments and regions are looking for
  • We say one of our major goals is to move to a pan-GBS digital service experience, but at best we set up digital centers of excellence that are allowed to advise and warn, with no teeth because each tower defines experience separately
  • We push to promulgate a “one GBS” brand, but empowered functional leaders focus on delivering what their functional masters demand
  • We try to convince our stakeholders that a GBS model in and of itself creates a new quantum of value, but with the way we align, we cannot calculate the numbers that support the proposition

If GBS evolves its organization constructs, what’s the upside?

  • The organization aligns with the strategy There’s no more wallpaper at the top of the house with each function pursuing its own agenda, but rather one big picture and playbook for the entire team
  • End-to-end becomes a reality If the GBS organization is serious about E2E, as opposed to functional delivery, it aligns the power to the GPO organization, eliminating strong functional hierarchies that are resistant to change
  • Investment goes where it should It’s about putting one’s money where one’s mouth is. Budgets, no longer fully allocated by functional silo, can be focused on the delivery of GBS programs and priorities that benefit all delivery
  • GBS increasingly supports the business’s objectives No longer a consolidation of functional shared services, GBS organizations change their focus from making the functions happy to driving value for the business
  • There is greater leverage of capabilities and talent No longer tied to functional silos, talent is more effectively leveraged and cross-trained. New, more exciting career pathways can be devised both in and out of GBS
  • The GBS brand is consistent and clear With the same objectives and increased interoperability, stakeholders are no longer confused by different ways of working, and the brand is no longer tied to personal relationships
  • Decision rights are aligned with GBS program objectives The level of debate is reduced

Not convinced? Let your survival instincts kick in. When the organization’s prevailing design construct is functional shared services silos, it’s very easy to deconstruct a GBS and repatriate them to the functions they serve. But when the GBS organization’s structure aligns with such design principles as E2E, service experience, and digital, it becomes harder to pull it apart.

Now I’m not saying change is easy. When a GBS leader is able to take out a clean sheet of paper and start from scratch, hiring for new ways of working, implementation is much easier.

Undoing even as few as  10-15 years of organizational received wisdom will be challenging for most. But GBS’s strongest attribute is its agility—agility to adapt to ever-changing business conditions and context. Do we have the agility to evolve our organization structures when they get in the way of delivering upon its promise?

Driving Growth: Evolving the GBS Role in Marketing Services | Virtual Roundtable


Driving Growth: Evolving the GBS Role in Marketing Services

July 27, 2023 |
9:30 AM EDT | 7:00 PM IST

Marketing has undergone a substantial transformation brought on by the adoption of digital technologies; however, support service delivery models have not kept up with the pace of change. GBS and GCC organizations can play a pivotal role in unlocking marketing efficiencies and benefits.

Join this virtual roundtable discussion to participate in conversations with our expert analysts and your peers. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the latest adoption trends and actively contribute to a group discussion exploring their positioning of marketing service delivery models, including vision, enablers for future value creation, futuristic plans and evolution, and governance models.

This session will help participants develop an understanding of priorities and opportunities for the global delivery of marketing services such as:

  • The vision for marketing services in GBS organizations
  • Key areas and enablers for future value creation
  • Futuristic operating and governance models
  • Critical success factors
  • Success stories from best-in-class peers

Who should attend? 

  • GBS leaders
  • GBS strategy leaders
  • Marketing services leaders

Virtual Roundtable Guidelines

The only price of admission is participation. Attendees should be prepared to share their experiences and be willing to engage in discourse.

Participation is limited to enterprise leaders (no service providers). Everest Group will approve each attendance request to ensure an appropriate group size and mix of participants. The sessions are 90 minutes in duration and include introductions, a short presentation, and a facilitated discussion.

M Bharath
Vice President
Simonson Eric A
Managing Partner

Blueprint or Wallpaper: The Challenges of Selling Your GBS Strategy to the Team | Blog

Your stakeholders seem to be willing to embrace a more comprehensive model, embracing new scope and moving even more work offshore. The enterprise’s CXOs are pushing an imperative for digitization, giving your GBS initiatives real coattails to grab onto. A white shoe strategy firm or one of the Big 4 has helped you develop an all-singing, all-dancing global business services blueprint that harnesses the latest GBS thinking. You’ve cobbled together some beautiful PowerPoints communicating the whys and wherefores of your next evolution.

Yet you don’t think your senior managers are on board. Why? Their eyes glaze over when you talk about a GBS strategic blueprint, thinking that it is just a piece of wallpaper.

I’ve seen this movie before. Gorgeous, sensible up-to-date GBS strategy; a senior team that won’t wear it on their tee-shirts. For a leader invested in the growth and change that drives GBS value, it can be hard to accept that the team is not on board; after all, setting GBS strategy is his/her prerogative. If the team isn’t behind it, it can be seen as a personal failure of leadership.

But without a strategic blueprint that everyone embraces, GBS models can turn into endangered species. The status quo is not an option.

So I asked myself, why is it often hard for GBS team members to get on the bandwagon?

  • Black box development – When the development of a GBS strategy is a private pas-de-deux between the boss and the strategy lead, it can be hard for the rest of the leadership team to take any ownership or even a high level of interest. Springing it on them as a fait accompli is a sure-fire way to create a not-invented here response.
  • Non-GBS natives – Often, GBS organizations are comprised of a majority of team members who came up through the enterprise ranks. They may be unfamiliar with the model’s imperative for survival—growth.
  • What’s in it for me? – Self-concern is a strong motivator to embrace a change in strategy. If a GBS blueprint does not highlight opportunities such as increased responsibility or new career paths, it can be hard for team members to make a personal investment.
  • No skin in the game – Since most GBS organizations focus individual performance on operational goals and objectives rather than strategic, the successful implementation of strategy may be seen as the responsibility of top leadership rather than that of every manager.
  • Pie in the sky – For team members facing daily operational challenges—recalcitrant stakeholders, missed deadlines, delivery center attrition—a GBS strategy can seem like an aspirational nice-to-have, not a roadmap for model maturity and survival.
  • Too complicated – GBS strategies with too many moving pieces—organizational changes, new delivery center locations, transformation projects, technology deployment—become daunting propositions for even the most sophisticated of GBS professionals. If there is no clearly delineated line of sight as to how each component adds up to a new stage of maturity, team members can tune out.
  • Competing initiatives – With today’s pace of business change, it’s likely that the team is juggling the implementation of a number of programs, often disconnected. A new GBS strategy that does not connect the dots can be seen as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Sure, it’s a daunting list of derailers, but savvy GBS leaders know how to help their team understand and embrace evolving strategies as a given. Here are eight tactics to ensure that the strategy sticks.

  • Promote a living strategy – Change is a GBS constant, so big initiative, once-in-a-blue moon, big bang strategies may prove ineffective. Focus on changing tactics as business conditions change, rather than strategic tenets to ensure the team is consistently aligned.
  • Have a formal, visible strategic planning process – If the organization likes to manage by scheduling strategic planning projects rather than embedding processes, it’s critical to promote transparency. Ensuring that strategic planning processes are incorporated in the GBS calendar, that outputs are shared on a timely basis, and that there is plenty of opportunity for contribution and comment is vital to success.
  • Personally engage key GBS stakeholders – We take the time to engage with our key business stakeholders; when it comes to a change or evolution of strategy, leaders owe their key managers the same courtesy—soliciting feedback and gaining commitment on a one-on-one basis.
  • Create a strategy cascade – Everyone in the organization needs to understand the current GBS strategy, what needs to change, and what it means for them personally. Town halls are great for the organization (but ensure that key leaders don’t see the strategy for the first time on a Teams call).
  • Solicit tailwinds and headwinds – The entirety of the team, not a few leaders, will make your strategy a reality. Ask them for structured input, and if they feel they can’t or won’t contribute, ask them to stress test the blueprint by identifying tailwinds—what will make the strategy implementable, and headwinds—what will derail the strategy. No one can identify opportunities and challenges better than those with their feet on the ground.
  • Seed the strategy with the business – If team members can triangulate the GBS strategy with what their business stakeholders are saying, it gives its tenets and imperatives credence as opposed to being seen as a hypothetical leadership exercise.
  • Tie personal metrics into the delivery of strategic goals – Behaviors align with rewards and recognition. Expanding each team member’s metrics to include the support for or delivery of strategic goals will go a long way.
  • Deliver GBS strategy through an OGSM or similar – (For the unfamiliar, OGSM refers to objectives, goals, strategies, and measures). Far too often, GBS strategies are great blueprints, but don’t harness tools that promote implementation. Embedding common success factors, such as clarity on what needs to be achieved and how it is measured through a formal program, gives life and meaning to a blueprint.

So the next time your team’s eyes glaze over when you mention the imperative for a new GBS strategy, perhaps it’s time to think about it differently. Making the process transparent, aligned with performance, and part of the GBS routine will go a long way toward making GBS organizations agile, responsible, and valuable.

Study: Best GBS Employers Provide Learning Platform, Career Path Clarity | In the News

Among 165 global companies in India assessed by IT advisory firm Everest Group, 30 were designated the country’s top GBS (Global Business Services) employers. These include American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, Colt, Expedia Group, Experian, Ford Motor, Company, GSK, Mondelez International, Sun Life Financial, Target, and TransUnion.

Everest Group also looked at more than 300 leading GBS employers across India, the Philippines, and Poland and found that in 2022-23, there was a notable dip in employer brand perception ratings across regions.

Read more in The Times of India.

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