Sr. Manager, Marketing at Chazey Partners
Changing market dynamics and the disruption of business processes have imposed several challenges on shared services. Technology for one, has created a fundamental shift in how Shared Services operate. While cost and volume have always been at the core of the Shared Services model, the value-adds of accuracy, analysis, consistency, speed, security, and transparency brought in by technology, more specifically, Automation, have catapulted the positioning of Shared Services from that of a mere service-based unit to a strategic partner for organizations worldwide.
Fortunately, Shared Services worldwide are realizing the importance and are looking at evolving digital maturity by adopting intelligent Automation to their functions to achieve their objectives.
In this context, Hyper automation has emerged as one of the top strategic technology trends for Shared Services Centers. The term first came up in IT research firm Gartner’s report in 2019 & has gained quite a bit of momentum in the industry since then. Hyper automation is a combination of automation technologies like Robotic Process Automation and artificial intelligence that, when combined, boost humans’ capabilities, allowing them to execute activities faster, more efficiently, and with fewer errors. The idea of Hyper automation is not just to automate automation but to capitalize on data so that organizations can use the information for a better and timelier business decision.
Let’s dig deep into how Hyper automation is helping the shared services in its processes:
Amplifies Automation of work and Automate Processes – Integrating advanced technologies, such as AI, ML, RPA, and NLP, into the company’s day-to-day workings allows it to perform processes more quickly and efficiently and reduces errors.
Fosters team collaboration and improves productivity – Increased employee satisfaction, as they operate in a smart working environment and are not involved in mundane tasks that add no value.
Business Agility – Business agility is the ability of a company to adapt to what is needed of it. Using Hyper automation, Shared Service Centers (SSC) ensure that they can scale according to new demands and requirements. Involving intelligent automation tools can make it easier for Shared Service Centers to change and keep pace with dynamic and growing markets.
Reduction in the operating costs of organizations –According to Gartner, by 2024, combining hyper automation technologies with redesigned operating processes will cut costs by 30 %.
Freedom to focus and expand – Automation gives the organization to focus on activities that deliver real value to the business, not just keeping the costs low. Shared Services are currently on a journey to evolve from low-cost providers/aggregators to being internal partners, and mature ones are developing into strategic entities for their organization. This can mean that the more mature Shared service centers are being asked to take on additional roles – such as global process ownership and vendor management – and venture into new areas like social media, big data, and analytics. The successful implementation of Automation frees up management bandwidth, allowing them to focus on adding value.
Augments ROI – The final objective for any transformation or initiative is to achieve a better bottom line for the organization. Through Hyper automation, companies can optimize workflow, reduce cost, and deliver increased ROI. For instance, Hyper automation can optimize the invoice process by automating the end-to-end multi-layered approach to secure outcomes and provide successful ROI.
Delivering business & customer intimacy – All the above benefits lead to the essential aspect that a Shared Service can provide – better customer service. Whether internal business customers or external customers, the Shared Service Centers of the future can deliver ‘customer intimacy.’ By combining the responsiveness and accuracy of hyper automation with the help of Robotic Process Automation & AI, the customer receives a more intimate and efficient service from the Shared Service Center.
So, for Shared Services, the benefits of Hyper automation are significant, and the risks are relatively low. However, to reap the benefits of Hyperautomation, it certainly needs to be baked into the overall strategy of the organization.