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Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers
Understanding Capabilities & Maturities

Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers

Evolving IT SSCs

T

he concept of shared services first
emerged in the 1980s. The idea
has progressively been applied to
many functions within businesses. Over
the course of years, multiple functions
including back-office operations, payroll,
HR, logistics and procurement have seen
the adoption of a shared service approach.
A decade later, the concept was applied
to common IT services – user help desk,
network administration, IT applications
management, which were regrouped
under what came to be called an IT Shared
Service Center (IT SSC).
Essentially, an IT SSC is a customeroriented organization, delivering shared
IT services invoiced directly to “internal”
clients such as business units, corporate
and support functions.
In this paper, we aim to understand the
changing roles of IT SSCs, the various
maturity levels that organizations
can achieve while building up their

competencies and conclude with a view
on our perspective of how an IT SSC
organization will look in the future.

Scoping an ITT SSC’s
Operations
Multiple organizations have either started
IT SSCs or are in the process of doing so.
As with most practices, there is no onesize-fits-all solution for an IT SSC. Multiple
models can and do effectively co-exist
within one large global organization. Our
experience in working with IT executives
across sectors and industries leads us to
summarize IT SSC models into four broad
scopes (see Figure 1). These four scopes
categorize the key areas that an IT SSC
can focus on, namely, infrastructure,
expertise, application and business
process. They pertain to the focus of an IT
SSC, with each specialized SSC catering to
a pre-defined set of operational areas.

Most organizations
have not considered
how they can
convert IT SSC into
a value-add for the
organization

Figure1: IT SSC Scopes
IT SSC Scopes

Infrastructure oriented

Expertise oriented

Application oriented

Set-up Infrastructure
maintenance and
Operations
(back-up, Storage, etc.)

Support on specific
technology skills
(Java, html 5, UX, etc.)

Development, Parameterization,
tests, maintenance,
administration

Type of activities
Source: Capgemini Consulting Analysis

2

Business Process oriented

Business support activities
and Operations
(CRM, Supply Chain, RH,
Accounting, etc.)

Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers

Typical focus of most IT SSC
implementations has been in optimizing
IT costs. For instance, in 2007, Allianz
consolidated its western European IT
infrastructure under a new international
company – Allianz Shared Infrastructure
Services, which achieved € 221 million in
savings from 2007 to 2009 and expects
another € 97 million by 20121.

translates to a competitive advantage.
These factors and trends make a strong
case for a change in the organizational
culture and transformation of the IT
SSC from ‘IT focused’ to ‘business and
consumer’ centric. In order to achieve this,
organizations will first need to understand
the various levels of maturity in an IT SSC
setup. In the next chapter, we discuss
these maturity levels by classifying them
into multiple generations.

However, while there are significant
cost savings that can be attributed to
implementation of an effective IT SSC,
most organizations have not considered
how they can convert IT SSC into a valueadd for the organization. In order to
understand the long-term role of an IT
SSC in adding value to an organization, it is
key to visualize the various trends that are
impacting IT SSCs (see Figure 2).

There is a strong
case for a change
in the organizational
culture and
transformation of
the IT SSC from ‘IT
focused’ to ‘business
and consumer’
centric

The advent of the digital era has placed
IT SSCs at the core of a company’s value
chain. Increasingly, IT SSCs are being
asked to support collaboration between
the internal communication systems
used at work, and external platforms
such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail
used by employees at home. They should
consequently have the capability to handle
the increased threat possibility to IT
security of an organization. Organizational
performance demands are also growing
rapidly; in many organizations, an
increased level of IT performance directly

Figure 2: IT SSC exposed to IT emerging trends
Digital
e-Security
BYOD
Collaborative
Tools

Enterprise
Corporate Mobile
2.0
Apps

Big Data

Smartphone
apps
Real-time data
acquisition, BI
Imaging

IaaS, STaaS
IP convergence

Web Analytics
Business Apps

Tablets,
Smartphones

Community
Management

Virtualization
Open-source,
DaaS

Agile
development

Open Data
Corporate Social
Network

SaaS, BPaaS

Open
Innovation

Business Devices
Experiences
e-Business
2.0 Platform
Internet of
objects

Smart technologies
In-memory
computing

PaaS

Source: Capgemini Consulting Analysis

3

Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers

A Maturity Model for IT SSCs

Our experience led us to define a
step maturity framework that will
companies to clearly identify
capabilities and work towards
aspirations with regards to IT
(see Figure 3).

fourhelp
their
their
SSCs

The first generation IT SSC, which
mainly focused on IS (Information
Systems) consolidation and cost saving,
developed across the two initial levels
– ‘IT Traditionalists’ and ‘IT Services
Providers’. Here, the emphasis was on
IT infrastructure, overall efficiency of
assets, IT services performance and
value creation. Standardization is the
first and traditional goal to implement IT
SSC and can be achieved by showcasing
its advantages to the BUs. For instance,
Société Générale, a France-based financial
services Group, adopted a shared services
platform in 2009 by implementing a new
entity ‘Global Technology and Services’
(GTS) with cost savings estimated at
€ 300 Million by 20132. This level is
characterized by the key requirements of
meeting internal customer IT expectations
and setting up a governance structure
for the outsourcing relationship. At this
level, IT SSCs start to demonstrate their
contribution to the value creation in the
company.
Once organizations have achieved a basic
competency in ensuring IS consolidation
and delivering cost savings to the
organization, the next challenge for them
would be to evolve to what we term
“Business Sparring Partners”. Here, the IT
SSC partners with the BUs to co-build the
Information Systems and helps empower
them to successfully deploy their own
technology such as SaaS3 in the entire

4

Figure 3: levels of IT SSC Maturity

Level - 4 “R & D” of IT Business Usage

Level - 2 SLA driven IT SSC

Level - 1 Industrialize IT SSC delivery

Business Visionary
Solution
Business Sparring Partners

IT Services Providers
IT Traditionalists
Industrialize and
rationalize “IT Utilities”

Providing
Innovative IT
Business services

Providing IT services
embedded to the
core Business

Value

Level - 3 IT SSC as a core
business Partner

IT SSC Maturity level

A

key demand on the IT SSC of today
is the need to be efficient and
standardized. At the same time,
customer centricity and agility are also
constantly cited as the need of the hour in
order to drive differentiation. There exist
multiple capabilities that will need to be
picked up in order to serve these current
needs.

Manage IT service catalog
and IT services
contracts

IT SSC Transformation journey

The Capgemini Consulting IT SSC
maturity model enable companies to
position themselves on the
“IT SSC maturity matrix”

1st Generation – IS Consolidation
and Cost savings
2nd Generation – Business Process redesign
and orientation
3rd Generation – Business integration orientation
and Innovation

Source: Capgemini Consulting Analysis

organization for greater flexibility and
distinctive business value. Key demands
of the IT SSC at this level include enabling
IT flexibility, continuous agility, and
establishing an IT business-oriented
culture.
After delivering basic value-add and
enabling greater IT flexibility, the move
to the third level of maturity demands
several new skills. The business visionary
SSC moves a step closer to innovation
by developing disruptive IT Business
Services through an “IT Shared Services
R&D” model that is integrated as a part
of the IT SSC organization and activities,
with the sponsorship of the Business
Units. This allows the company to have
a predictive position regarding how
technology could bring more valuable
benefits to the business. As an example,
in 2009, Genpact introduced its Smart
Enterprise Processes (SEP), a scientific
methodology enabling business process
effectiveness to deliver measurable
business outcomes. With SEP, Genpact
leveraged their transaction database of

over 200 Million transactions to map and
analyze at a granular level the core endto-end processes that run a business4.
Key characteristics of this maturity
level include enhancing innovation
while simultaneously onboarding a new
range of IT competencies and providing
innovative and predictive services to the
organization.

It is critical for
organizations to
understand and
evaluate their IT SSC
maturity

Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers

While it is important for organizations to
understand what the various maturity
levels are and what each level demands
in terms of capabilities, it is also critical
that they understand where they are
currently positioned. Through our extensive
experience in setting up and transforming
IT SSCs across sectors and geographies,
we have built a framework that will help
organizations evaluate their respective
maturity levels. The framework relies on
identifying an organization’s key strengths
across the three axes of how, what and why
(see Figure 4).
“What” addresses the key assets that an IT
SSC should have. “Why” allows executives
to get an objective status of their strategic
vision. “How” represents the capabilities
that need to be developed across each level
to reach the vision.
Having understood the maturity model and
taken a look at the assessment framework,
in the next and concluding section, we
delve on our perspective of how an IT SSC
organization will look in the future.

Figure 4: IT SSC Framework for Maturity Level Assessment
IT SSC MATURITY LEVEL ASSESSMENT
1st Generation IT SSC - Cost savings
2nd Generation IT SSC - Business Process redesign and orientation
3rd Generation IT SSC -Business integration orientation and Innovation
THE
«WHAT»

LEVEL 1
Industrialize
and
rationalize
“IT Utilities”

LEVEL 2
Manage IT
service
catalog and IT
services
contracts

LEVEL 3
Providing IT
services
embedded to
the
core-business

LEVEL 4
Providing
Innovative IT
Business
services

IT SSC Offer

Provide IT
fundamental
services

Meet
customer’s IT
expectations

Enable
flexibility and
continuous
agility

Provide
Innovative
Valuable
Services

IT SSC Process

Define
operation
processes and
standardization

Manage
harmonization
of process
performance

Improve
optimization of
Business
Process

Develop cross
optimization
Business
Process

IT SSC HR

Centralize IT
competencies

Develop
Professional
Knowledge
Management

Establish an IT
Business
service oriented
culture

On board
future IT
Competencies

IT SSC Tools

Assess IT Tools

Rationalize
IT Tools

Standardize
IT Tools

Manage IT
Tools
Optimization
plan

IT SSC Sourcing

Insourcing

Outsourcing
Governance

Common
Norms and
Standards

Partnership
and common
strategic plan

IT SSC Financial

Manage IT Cost
Control Model

Manage IT Cost
reduction Plan

Manage IT Cost
road map

Manage Cost
reallocation
model and IT
Value

THE
«WHY»

THE «HOW»

Source: Capgemini Consulting Analysis

5

Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers

Evolution of the IT Organization

3. IT Embedded in Business: Part of the IT
currently managed by IT SSC, especially
concerning IT Business Services and IT
Predictive Innovation Services, should
be embedded inside each function of
the BU, to maximize the usage of IT
from a global to a local way. IT should
become a more intimate part of the
Business organization. The policy to
manage right balance will be defined
by the IT Business Services Strategy &
Guidelines organization (1).
4. External IT Providers: The External
Providers role should have more
intimacy with the IT SSC organization.
In the meantime, IT SSC should become
a service broker being put into the
position of showing to the business
which applications should be handled
in-house or with a cloud provider. Joint
Ventures and strategic alliances models
should be developed allowing the
creation of IT add-value.

6

1
Global IT
Strategy
guardian

BU “n”
IT Business
Strategy
Business-Embedded IT 1

Etc.

BU 2
IT Business
Strategy

Web analytics
2
IT Services
Boutique

BU 1

Business-Embedded IT 1

IT Predictive
Innovation Services
Smart Technologies

IT Business
Strategy

BU-Centric

Business-Embedded IT 1

2. IT Services Boutique: Toward a matricial
dimension structured by a Consumer
and Business Centric standpoint, the
IT SSC should be organized in order
to address three distinctive types of
services: the IT Foundation Services,
the IT Business Services and the IT
Predictive Innovation Services. This
model should allow more agility for the
IT SSC in their understanding of the IT
Business expectations.

Governance
IT Business Services Strategy & Guidelines

Business & Consumers -Centric

1. Global IT Strategy Guardian: An IT
Business Services Strategy & Guidelines
organization should emerge to be the
Global Guardian of the coherence
between IT SSC development (2 and
4) and IT-Business initiatives towards
Business Units (3).

Figure 5: Key Roles evolution for IT Organization including IT SSC

IT Shared Services Center

W

e foresee that IT SSCs will
move from a Corporate-Centric
Organization towards a more
Business Unit and Consumer Centric
Organization. In a global IT organization
point of view, IT SSCs will be part of a new
ecosystem structured around four major
distinct roles (see figure 5).

IT Business Services
Marketing

Apps

Sales

Apps

CRM

Apps

Supply Chain Apps

IT-Business
Services
“consumers
centric”

Business
Intelligence Apps

3 IT embedded
in business

Commercial Apps
Etc.

Apps

IT Foundation
Services

Tailored Clients Personalization

IT Goods &
Services
External 4
IT providers

Database, Middleware,
ERP
Datacenter
Enterprise Network
Saas
TMA
PaaS

IaaS

Source: Capgemini Consulting analysis

In today’s dynamic economic environment,
the IT SSC is the first step to allow
companies to benefit from the available
technologies that would be an asset to
their organization. Organizations must
now prepare for the inevitable transition
to higher capability levels of IT SSC.
In order to do so, the IT SSC has to
pursue a traditional role of aggregator to
master the centralization of information,
ensuring the optimization of IT costs.
At the same time, it has to adapt itself,
to face the consumerization of IT which
brings opportunities in terms of flexibility,
productivity and value creation for the
company. The IT SSC of the future has
to strive to evolve towards a role where
its contribution to the business is made
more intimate, driven by the criticality of
technology for organizations.

The time when IT executives had to
evangelize the ability of IT to bring a
value addition to the Business is past. The
question today is not “Can IT bring value
to the Business?” but “what value can IT
bring to the Business?”

The time when IT
executives had
to evangelize the
ability of IT to bring a
value addition to the
Business is past

Visualizing the Future of IT Shared Services Centers

Sources
1 Allianz SE corporate information, Press releases
2 Societe Generale, “RESG/GTS, a pioneer of Group transformation”, Aug 2009
3 Software as a Service
4 Company website

7

Authors
Hamilton Mann
hamilton.mann@capgemini.com

Eric Georges
eric.georges@capgemini.com

Contacts
France
Patrick Ferraris
patrick.ferraris@capgemini.com

UK
Stephen Pumphrey
stephen.pumphrey@capgemini.com

DACH
Guido Kamann
guido.kamann@capgemini.com

Netherlands
Eric Kruidhof
eric.kruidhof@capgemini.com

North America
Martin A Hanlon
martin.a.hanlon@capgemini.com

Norway
Gunnar Deinbol
gunnar.deinbol@capgemini.com

Finland
Hannu Kauppinen
hannu.kauppinen@capgemini.com

Sweden
Ulf Larson
ulf.larson@capgemini.com

Spain
Christophe Jean Marc Mario
christophe.mario@capgemini.com

About Capgemini
Capgemini Consulting is the global strategy and transformation
consulting organization of the Capgemini Group, specializing
in advising and supporting enterprises in significant
transformation, from innovative strategy to execution and with
an unstinting focus on results. With the new digital economy
creating significant disruptions and opportunities, our global
team of over 3,600 talented individuals work with leading
companies and governments to master Digital Transformation,
drawing on our understanding of the digital economy and
our leadership in business transformation and organizational
change.

With around 120,000 people in 40 countries, Capgemini is one
of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology
and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2011 global
revenues of EUR 9.7 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini
creates and delivers business and technology solutions that
fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply
multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own
way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and
draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.
Learn more about us
at www.capgemini.com.

Find out more at:
http://www.capgemini-consulting.com/
Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

Capgemini Consulting is the strategy and transformation consulting brand of Capgemini Group. The information contained in this document is proprietary.
© 2012 Capgemini. All rights reserved.


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