It may be the hot phrase of 2019 for shared services…but what does digital transformation really mean for shared services?
The key word here is transformation. Digital transformation is not the same as more automation. It’s about re-imagining your processes and transforming your operations – putting technology at the core of your service.
Uber, for example, isn’t just an automated taxi app. They leveraged the ubiquity of mobile technology to change the way people think about travel and transportation.
So how does this apply to shared services?
Sharedservcieslink and ITESOFT released a white paper exploring this in great detail. Download the full report.
For many functions, mobile technology, cloud-based software, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation have made the old way of doing things redundant. In many organizations:
- Chatbots are the first customer service point
- Robots manage and respond to emails in inboxes
- Robots set up online accounts for new suppliers
- Invoices can be received and paid without any human interaction
- AI-empowered tools examine and highlight suspicious transactions
Not every company will use all of the above all the time, but this technology is rolling out rapidly. Robots and software can now perform many tasks that humans used to perform, so companies are stepping back and re-examining their processes with these advanced technologies in mind.
However, unlike companies like Uber or the Silicon Valley companies, shared services often have legacy systems and processes that are a legacy where paper was king.
So, if your organization is still structured by the old way of working, if your processes are still a legacy of paper invoices and manual entry…it’s time to change. Digital transformation may sound like boardroom buzzwords, but in reality it is essential for shared services to remain relevant in the 21st century.