In its recent report – Shared Services Automation for Business Optimisation – IDC highlights the need for shared services in business to boost efficiency, reduce costs, and standardise processes across the organisation.

Shared services refer to a business model in which common support functions (eg. HR, IT, procurement, etc.) are centralised and provided as shared resources to multiple departments or business units within an organisation.

Despite its long-standing application, implementing shared services presents significant hurdles ranging from outcome inaccuracies to delays in fulfilling requests. Such challenges not only affect the smooth running of operations, but also impede organisational agility and diminish customer satisfaction.

The IDC survey uncovers that, in all industries, the time for completion of tasks should be cut down by 50%.

Automating shared services processes can significantly enhance efficiency and unlock the potential within organisations. With the integration of automation and optimisation, companies experience significant improvements in satisfaction and user experience with shared services. The fusion of automation with advanced GenAI technologies can simplify workflows, reduce mistakes, and elevate the service delivery process thereby nurturing a positive image and trust in shared service offerings. Moreover, employees recognise that an optimised shared services framework affords them additional time for skill development which, in turn, fosters innovation and introduces new capabilities to the business.

“Gen AI can revolutionise shared service automation by enabling intelligent decision-making – where the system learns from data to optimise processes, predict needs, and personalise services,” says Dr Lily Phan. research director, Intelligent Automation, IDC Asia/Pacific. “This AI-driven approach minimises errors and enhances efficiency by automating routine tasks and allowing employees to focus on more complex, value-added activities.

“Furthermore, Gen AI can continually improve service delivery through realtime feedback and adaptive learning mechanisms, ensuring that shared services evolve in alignment with organisational goals and user expectations,” Dr Phan adds.