Intelligent Automation – The Catalyst for Business Transformation in Shared Services

June, 2019


The increasingly digitized and globalized world economy driven by innovation, disruptive technologies, and interconnectivity has transformed the traditional business models of shared services and outsourcing organizations. Now collectively referred to as Global Business Services (GBS), these organizations are continuously evolving to support more complex core business processes and enable more agile, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective operations. The digital ecosystem, driven by recent economic viability and technology maturity, has emerged as a key prerequisite and core competency to drive enterprise growth and achieve successful business outcomes for GBS.

Intelligent automation (IA), one of the key components of the digital ecosystem, has enabled the transformation of GBS by providing rapid return on investments (ROI), non-invasive modernization, and key business and operational process improvements. Automation and machines have become fundamental for performing tedious, mundane and repetitive tasks to deliver data-driven and costeffective insights.

Despite increasing adoption, more than half of the GBS that have ventured into IA have:
i. not advanced beyond the pilot or experimentation stage,
ii. failed, or
iii. are still evaluating their options.

It is imperative for these organizations to advance or integrate IA initiatives to enable business transformation and ensure competitiveness. To guide GBS executives through their IA journey and decision-making, this paper explores opportunities, highlights the challenges that may arise during the adoption, and outlines the best practices to ensure business success. Several case studies are presented to help illustrate these points, including the IA journey of Novo Nordisk Global Services Center (GSC).


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