3 Trends Confirmed at SSON’s European Flagship Event


At SSON’s Shared Services and Outsourcing Week Europe 2019, which took place in Lisbon last week, we took the opportunity to get some real-time feedback from the senior practitioners on site.


We will be sharing this feedback through our SSON Analytics workbooks [link] and benchmarks [link] but wanted to briefly point file three key trends.




1. Global Business Services

SSON’s annual global surveyconfirms that 33% of shared services around the world are already operating as a Global Business Services (GBS), with another 30% planning to move to GBS within five years. (The leading driver for many of these is improved client experience.) European SSO leaders agreed, with only a third saying they did not currently operate a GBS model and were not planning to move to one this year. On the other hand, a significant segment is struggling with transition (unsurprisingly). Nearly a third of practitioners in Lisbon claim to be running “mature” GBS, however, with half of those already moving towards "digitalized" GBS. 


2. Adding Emerging Automation and AI Technologies

While the "frenzy" around RPA shows no sign of slowing down, indeed implementations jumped from 9% a year ago to 32% at the beginning of 2019, we see strong interest in additional and complementary tools that both leverage automation and improve its accuracy. Nearly a quarter of practitioners in Lisbon plan to invest in process discovery or process mining tools, followed by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

3. Focus on Customer Experience

One message we hear again and again, and reflect to the market again and again, is that no matter how exciting and productive the technologies, at the end of the day it's customer experience that defines success or failure. Right now, that experience is being driven predominantly through automation. However, data analytics in support of improved decision-making, tailored services, or key business metrics are also leveraged for their impact on the customer.


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