Digital Turbocharges Support Function & Shared Service Performance

Digital Support Functions and Shared Services

Support functions live at the center of a company but are rarely centered around value. BCG develops the vision, capabilities, and processes that allow support functions—such as digital shared services, finance, HR, and procurement—to spark growth and resilience while containing costs.

Savvy companies are extracting value from their own backyard—or, more precisely, back office. Through new approaches to business support functions, they’re achieving dramatic increases in productivity and cost reduction. They’re delivering better services faster. And they’re giving back time to employees—so they can focus on the work that spurs growth.

Transforming support functions isn’t just about going digital. It’s also about designing user-centric processes and applying the right mix of automation, simplification, and organizational change. BCG develops the technical and human enablers—the strategy, technology, and operating model—that help companies add value through digital shared services and support functions.

BCG’s Approach to Digital Support Functions and Shared Services

We take a holistic approach to optimizing business support functions, orchestrating the many capabilities, processes, and behaviors that come into play. We also help companies identify the moments that matter for customers and employees, so they can radically prioritize excellent services at those times.

Our work aims to solve five major client challenges, taking companies from strategy to implementation, while enabling them to keep the momentum going once we hand over the reins.

  • End-to-End Process Transformation. Companies get the best results when their digital back office is built around user-centric, end-to-end processes. We leverage insights on user needs, preferences, and journeys to design efficient and intuitive experiences—covering such processes as hire to retire, procure to pay, and order to cash.
  • Technology and Data Enablement for Support Functions. Digital technologies have changed the way companies think about—and engineer—their business support functions. Such technologies as automation, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing can radically alleviate pain points and create exponential value. While combining these technologies in new ways to create value and encourage disruption, we design the appropriate analytics, data governance, and modular IT platforms that are necessary to deploy and scale value-adding digital shared services. In addition, we help clients decouple data from applications, build modern digital and data platform layers, and design lean core enterprise-resource-planning systems for truly scalable, data-powered, and business-centric support functions.
  • Next-Gen Operating Model. Transformations take off when they are supported by the right process and organizational changes. We work with companies to redesign their organizational structure by helping them with decisions about centralization, the clustering of activities, and reporting relationships in support functions. We also help companies adjust roles and responsibilities, foster new ways of working, and develop the performance management, process flows, and behaviors necessary to realize the full potential of digital support functions.
  • Shared Services Centers Design. Winning with digital shared services doesn’t necessarily mean bringing everything in-house. We provide expert guidance to help clients set up shared-services centers and make informed sourcing decisions: what to outsource, what to offshore, and how to manage the mix.
  • Cost Excellence. Streamlined, digitized business operations functions can unleash value while containing costs. Through diagnostics, target blueprints, and solutions design, we help companies identify the right areas—including process optimization and redundancy reduction—to optimize both personnel and nonpersonnel costs.

Our Support Function Tools and Expertise

BCG’s digital support functions consulting combines industry-specific knowledge with expertise in such areas as digital technologies, organizational design, and change management. We also draw upon the resources of BCG GAMMA—specialists in advanced analytics and AI—and BCG Platinion, our UX designers and IT architects and integrators. The result: we don’t just identify the most promising use cases for the digital back office. We accelerate them.

Our teams are supported by an array of proprietary tools.

BCG’s Impact in Digital Support Functions and Shared Services

We’ve helped many companies, across industries and geographies, transform their business support functions. Some examples include:

Meet Our Digital Support Functions and Shared Services Consulting Experts

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