Shared Services in 2019: New Hires’ Skills Aligned to New Technologies & Outsourcing Given a Boost

Globally, the workforce is undergoing one of the most significant transformations since that of the industrial revolution and it is, once again, driven by the promise of automation – this time robotic. But while automation equals performance, "people" will never disappear, is what even new proponents of leading technologies tell us. 


Truthfully, "lights out processing" was being bandied about nearly two decades ago and it's only in the last four years that we have seen proof of this possibly becoming a reality.


It may be too early to speak of a backlash to bring "humans back into the process" [although a few practitioners have touted that strategy to SSON recently] but we are seeing a definite rethink of humans’ potential. 


SSON’s recent survey of North American shared services leaders listed upskilling or “reskilling” of employees as a priority, with many different methods being applied. Learning from your peers – be that via webinars, certifications, or other online resources – is a popular approach today. Looking forward, however, more than 4/5 of the respondents to a Future of Jobs survey conducted by the World Economic Forum confirmed that new hires were being aligned to the skills required to deploy many of the now emerging technologies. (Outsourcing is also being given a boost through this trend, with 90% of respondents confirming it likely or somewhat likely that outsourcing will be the solution to emerging skills gaps). While it does not mean a stampede towards coders, necessarily, it does imply that enterprises are looking for individuals to whom working with technology comes naturally. Luckily the new generation of incoming workforce is growing up with and predictive analytics guiding their consumption choices.


So, what technologies will be dictating recruiting decisions?


Within Finance, the most popular solutions shared services are investing in include automation and analytics, with Accounts Payable emerging as a top area of interest.


Within HR, Travel and Expense is the lead contender, alongside analytics and onboarding solutions.


The biggest surprise?


Perhaps that while many of us expect 2019 to be the year of "cognitive" technologies, SSON’s latest survey shows business process automation and robotic desktop automation listed as priorities by the vast majority of respondents, with less than half citing plans to invest in cognitive solutions.


Read more about workforce strategies, technology priorities, and shared services strategies in SSON Analytics’ new visual data report:

Shared Services in North America 2019: Workforce Strategies, GBS Objectives, Key Measures of Success






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