Shared Services Global Demand on the Rise – KPMG

Michelle Remo, “Big 4″ observer
July 27, 2011 /

Global demand for shared services models and internal process improvement is increasing as organizations look to enhance business performance, according to the 2Q11 Sourcing Advisory Pulse Survey of KPMG field advisors and leading global business and IT service providers.

Fifty-nine percent of the advisors surveyed said they anticipate greater demand from clients for shared services delivery models, while 51 percent predicted more demand for internal process improvement. Meanwhile, demand for both business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT outsourcing (ITO) remained flat.

Advisors who primarily support global deals or deals in the Americas were more likely to cite demand growth for shared services (63 percent), while those who support clients in the EMEA region were most likely to cite increased demand for internal process improvement efforts (61 percent).

“The value proposition and success metrics for shared services operations are evolving,” said Stan Lepeak, research director in KPMG’s Shared Services and Outsourcing Advisory group.

“Leading organizations today receive measureable business value from shared services – above and beyond driving costs. This involves driving and improving overall business performance as well as competing for internal business on level ground with external service providers,” Lepeak added.

The KPMG Sourcing Advisory Pulse Survey was developed by EquaTerra in 2004.

The report further found that service providers are bullish on new deal pipeline growth. Seventy-four percent of providers surveyed said they expect customer demand for business and IT services to rise in the next one to two quarters. The others cited IT as being the strongest functional area in the pipeline (34 percent), followed by multi-tower deals (21 percent) and F&A (16 percent).

Currently, 55 percent of service providers cited pipeline growth over the past quarter, while the balance indicated no material change in pipeline growth levels (note that the Pulse surveys measure change in pipeline growth levels, not absolute pipeline size or revenue levels).

Sixty-six percent of advisors cited improvement in current shared services and outsourcing governance processes and capabilities as the most common approach taken to improve service delivery capabilities.

This was the top cited approach across all major geographic areas, and among both advisors that primarily support business services (HR, F&A) and those that support IT service and operations. The next most commonly cited approach was the use or expansion of information technology outsourcing/ITO (43 percent).

Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) is the top industry group. Financial services companies show the greatest demand for shared services/outsourcing services, as noted by 82 percent of service providers.

At a distant second the energy, utilities, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries tied for second at 32 percent.

Services providers are more bullish on buyer uptake levels of cloud solutions than are advisors.

Forty-two percent of service providers polled indicate that their clients have one or more live cloud services deployments in the field and that this would increase to 66 percent in 12 months.

Advisors cite much lower adoption rates of 12 percent today and 30 percent in 12 months.

KPMG explained that this difference is related to views into different user organizations, differences of opinion into what constitutes a “deployment” and what is truly meant by cloud computing (as opposed to relabeled legacy computing models).

Service providers and sourcing advisors were also asked to assess the skills of typical end-user organizations around various cloud computing capabilities using a five point scale, where one represents “very unskilled” and five represents “very skilled.”

The highest score given by advisors at 2.39 was for buyers’ “Understanding the technical underpinnings of cloud computing – how it works,” while the highest score given by service providers was 2.81 for “Understanding how cloud computing options can complement or supplant traditional enterprise systems and/or outsourcing investments.”

Coming in at the bottom of the rankings according to both advisors and third party providers were skills relating to both sourcing and managing cloud computing initiatives.

Lepeak said the limited cloud computing skills of many buyers does not come as a surprise “given the immaturity and fast moving nature of the market.”

“The situation is not dissimilar to the early days of the Internet, when buyers struggled to define and execute on strategies to exploit its business potential. However, it is critical for buyers to ramp up cloud skills and expertise to realize the larger benefits of cloud as a means to enable new business models and ultimately transform business operations,” Lepeak added.


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