Software group SunGard is claiming that its latest ‘Market Insights’ study shows a marked difference in perceptions about shared service centre (SSC) levels and capabilities between the users and suppliers of these technology-based services.
According to the study, 40% of respondents whose businesses are serviced by a SSC felt that it was not meeting their service level agreements (SLAs), while only 3.4% of respondents working from within the SSC identified that this was a problem.
Additionally, 36.5% of respondents whose businesses are supported by the SSC state that they are dissatisfied with service level results while only 19.7% of those from within the SSC report the same perception.
SunGard reports that the predominant underlying reasons for these gaps in perception are a lack of communication, workflow and visibility, all of which the vendor says can be mitigated through recent technology advancements, such as online portals, workflow tools and sophisticated reporting functionality.
The group further claims that the study reveals a shift in the drivers for migrating towards an SSC. Companies are realising that they can derive more value from their SSC and operate smarter and more efficiently if they are able to standardise treasury processes and improve on those processes with technology.
Compared to a similar SunGard study from 2010, the driver to operate more strategically by standardising operations grew from 11.8% to 21.2% in the latest survey. For those companies with mature SSCs, when asked what they would do differently if setting up an SSC now, 58.9% of respondents said they would standardise processes and 53.5% said they would implement technology.
“When an SSC is created, all too often we see the centre adopt some level of automation, but it tends to reside only within the core,” said CJ Wimley, chief operating officer (COO) of SunGard’s corporate liquidity business.
“As a best practice, the entire enterprise needs to be linked together through a single, centralised platform. By creating dashboards, business process automation and enterprise-wide collaboration companies can operate smarter, and see a dramatic improvement in the effectiveness of an SSC.”