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Evolution of

Shared Services

A Sub-Saharan Africa Perspective

Evolution of shared services: Sub-Saharan


Africa perspective
As shared services transitions, it offers
organisations in sub-Saharan Africa the
opportunity to unlock immense value.
Research reveals that sub-Saharan Africa
with its solid foundation, can build on its
past successes and position itself
for growth, execution efficiency and
effectiveness with shared services. This
report focuses on how we can achieve this
by examining the scope of shared services
in sub-Saharan Africa; various operating
models that enable high performance; and
performance, service excellence and talent
management as key differentiators to
achieving high performance.

Executive summary

Shared services organisations


continue to support strategic business
objectives by exploiting opportunities
that improve cost effectiveness and
develop service excellence. Accenture
recently conducted a global survey
of these organisations. The survey
identified the opportunities that exist
for shared services in sub-Saharan
Africa, namely:

The scope of shared services in


sub-Saharan Africa
Compared with their global counterparts,
organisations in sub-Saharan Africa
appear to have more opportunity
to provide greater value-add and
professional services, depending on the
maturity of the organisation.

Process and service excellence as a


key differentiator

The evolution towards Integrated


Business Services

Sub-Saharan Africa shared services


should focus on further efforts to develop
standardised processes, as well as their
ability to report consistently and in a more
automated manner on the performance of
shared services organisations.

For those shared services organisations


that have reached stabilisation and
maturity, Integrated Business Services
(IBS) may be the next step in the journey.
IBS partners with customers to provide
complete end-to-end business solutions.

Talent as a key differentiator to


achieving high performance
It is evident in organisations around
the world that the right talent is still a
primary differentiator. In sub-Saharan
Africa, a unique labour landscape exists,
challenging organisations to provide
flexible working alternatives to maintain
and develop key skills.

Various operating models that


enable high performance
Organisations are increasingly reviewing
their existing sourcing models with a
greater focus on leveraging the benefits of
a hybrid sourcing model. i.e. in-sourcing
vs. outsourcing.

Introduction
In the 1990s, many organisations
consolidated or centralised their back-office
processing into a corporate centre to
achieve efficiencies through standardised and
simplified processes. The idea was to provide
services in a more cost-effective manner.
Shared services has become the dominant
operating model for business support
services, with more than 75 percent of
Fortune 500 companies having implemented
shared services in some form or the other.

Under pressure to continue delivering cost and


service improvements, many organisations
are turning to proven shared services models.
A primary reason why many organisations
across borders and industries prefer shared
services as a support service model is because
its successful implementation enables them to
address the following key issues:
Simplifying and standardising complex,
nonstandard processes that involve
duplication of effort and increased cost

Consolidating and standardising disparate,


nonstandard systems and infrastructure
Streamlining management time
historically spent on transactional
activities, with a greater flexibility to
focus on key business decisions
Rationalising disparate reporting and
limiting the many versions of the truth
Rightsizing the organisation to support
peak demand periods

Under pressure to continue


delivering cost and service
improvements, more than 75
percent of Fortune 500
companies have implemented
shared services.

Shared services mastery: Key attributes


The shared services operating model
demonstrated its potential to unlock
value for organisations around the
world, by primarily providing support
to allow companies to focus on core
business activities. Based on an Accenture study
conducted in 2009, Achieving High
Performance through Shared Services:
Lessons from the Masters, some
organisations have set themselves apart from
their peers by demonstrating operational

excellence. By contrast, many shared services


centres have not yet managed to achieve
operational mastery.
Less than 10 percent of the organisations
surveyed globally are considered shared
services masters. These masters all meet the
following criteria:
View shared services as a high-
performance business in its own right
Demonstrate a superior ability to target
and secure their objectives

Utilise a variety of sourcing models to


achieve business resilience
Are more likely to take necessary steps to
build the workforce they need
Invest in shared services best practices
and technology tools.

Figure 1: Shared services high performance business model.


The Accenture High Performance Business model identifies the key attributes of the leading organisations
Accenture works with. Organisations that have achieved shared services mastery have built their operations on
the foundational elements highlighted in Figure 1.

Continued value
creation over industry
eras and life cycles

ng

High
Performance
Business

th

Top line
revenue
growth

ev

ity

cy

Pr

isten

Lo

ity

bil

ta
ofi

Grow

1. Profitability: Dramatically lower cost


operating model
2. Longevity: Sustainable traction not
achievable through reengineering alone
3. Consistency: Agreed services and
measurable service predictability
4. Growth: Accommodate volume changes
without an equivalent increase in cost
5. Positioning for the future: Continued
adaptability to the changing business
environment and goals

Greater than
expected returns
from investments

Cons

Five attributes of shared


services masters:

Positioning

Reliable and
predictable
performance

Higher Future
Value Growth

The evolution of shared services organisations


is critical for companies to continue providing
services of value and remain relevant to end users
Typical services
Adoption of the shared services model has
lagged in sub-Saharan Africa compared
with other parts of the globe. In recent
years, however, interest in shared services
has increased and local companies seeking
to explore the concept are now able to
benefit from the experience of their global
counterparts. In fact, while several years ago,
single independent functional shared services
was seen to be the starting point of the
shared services journey, companies in subSaharan Africa are now more likely to move
straight to a multifunction model, maximising
benefits realisation and leveraging start-up
and implementation costs.

One of the questions most frequently asked


by Accenture clients relates to the scope
of shared services. Typical services include
finance, human resources (HR), information
technology (IT) and procurement, all of which
are covered in our sub-Saharan Africa shared
services. A comparison between local and
global companies (figure 2) indictaes that
local companies lead when it comes to using
shared services for logistics and material
management. Compared with their global
counterparts, shared services organisations
in sub-Saharan Africa, however, have an
opportunity to increase the scope of IT, HR
and procurement.

Figure 2: Typical scope of services.


What typical services are being delivered through Shared Services today?
(Multiple mention)
IT
(i.e., application
maintenance)

71%
27%

60%

Finance
53%

46%
HR

27%

Logistics/Materials
Management
(i.e. procurement,
invenory mangement)

42%
47%

42%

Client facing services


i.e., billing, collections

40%

36%
Procurement

20%

Global
Africa

Atypical services
Atypical services are those that have
not traditionally been seen as obvious
candidates for delivery via a shared services
model. In recent years, more shared services
organisations have found that additional
benefits can be achieved by offering
different services, leveraging the shared
services infrastructure and achieving
economies of skill and scale.

Our research reveals some of the atypical


services that are being delivered through
shared services (Figure 3).
Sub-Saharan Africa shared services
organisations are leading the way in marketing
and research. There are good examples of
shared services in sub-Saharan Africa providing
facilities management services. In addition,
the research reveals some areas where shared

services have an opportunity to expand.


Based on our experience, we believe the
biggest opportunities for sub-Saharan Africa
shared services lie in the areas of real estate
management, master data maintenance, and
environmental safety and health.

Figure 3: Master data maintenance is one of the areas that offers opportunities for shared services organisations in
sub-Saharan Africa.
What atypical services are being delivered through Shared Services today?

(Multiple mention)
Marketing

30%

Internal audit

27%

Transportation

27%

Consulting services

27%

40%
13%
20%
33%

Research
Communications

25%

Master Data Maintenance

25%

13%

25%
24%

13%

26%

Project Management
Facility Management
Financial planning,
budgeting and forecasting

22%

Legal

20%

Enterprise reporting

20%

Tax

20%

Treasury

19%

Real estate

27%
20%

91%

93%

7%
13%
7%
13%

18%

Environmental, Safety
and Health
Investor relations
Statutory reporting
Continous Improvement
(lean/Six sigma)
We do not deliver any
atypical services

33%
20%

16%

7%

15%
14%
11%
9%

7%
7%
7%

Global
Africa

Evolution and expansion of services


Most companies start their shared services
journey by centralising traditional backoffice functions such as Finance and HR.
As shared services stabilises and becomes
a proven concept within the organisation,
the trend, both globally and locally, is
to expandmore than 80 percent of the
respondents indicated that their shared

services have expanded since their


launch. This expansion can take the form
of additional services (typical and nontypical), additional clients and markets or
moving up the value chain through the
addition of innovative or value-added
services such as data analytics or research
and development.

Our research indicates that sub-Saharan


Africa shared services are slightly more
aggressive in their expansion, with a
majority (around 95 percent) taking on
some expansion in less than three years
of their launch (compared with around 85
percent globally).

Organisations are faced with delivering better


services more cost-effectively and are considering a
variety of sourcing models to meet this challenge
Shared services is an operating model
that enables more effective and efficient
service delivery, whether the service
is provided by the business function
(insourced) or by an external organisation
(outsourced). The matrix below (Figure 4)
highlights the benefits associated with
each model. Our research indicates that a
hybrid model is preferred by most shared
services organisations.
Although the management of multiple
sourcing arrangements increases
complexity, the hybrid model enables the
best of both worldshighly transactional

activities are delivered externally at the


lowest cost, while more value-added or
client-specific activities are retained in the
internal shared services organisation.
Based on the findings from our study,
most companies, both globally and
locally, take some time to stabilise
operations before considering
outsourcing. In fact, around 65 percent
of the companies surveyed only made the
decision to outsource after a minimum
of a three-year period. This is consistent
with the view that the real benefits from
outsourcing will be realised only after
business processes have undergone some

initial optimisation internally.


The trend to outsource has not yet
caught up among sub-Saharan Africa
shared services companies. 33 percent
of sub-Saharan Africa shared services
still indicate that they have no
outsourcing in place, compared with
only 6 percent globally. While there
are unique African circumstances that
favour retaining services in house, such
as skills development and relatively low
local labour costs, a hybrid model as well
as local or onshore outsourcing is an
opportunity worth pursuing for
sub-Saharan Africa shared services.

Figure 4: Benefits associated with various sourcing models.

Sourcing model

Benefits

In company, onshore

Tight control and the superior


customer experiences
associated with a local model

In company, offshore

Scalability and the benefits


of labour sourcing, yet still
with tight control

Outsourced, onshore

Predictable costs, superior


customer experiences

Outsourced, offshore

Most predictably
low costs

Shared services organisations face the challenge of


aligning process management with enterprise-wide
improvement initiatives, especially where there is
no established culture of process excellence
Process excellence
Previous research conducted by Accenture
Achieving High Performance through Shared
Services: Lessons from the Masters indicates
that a large proportion of shared services
organisations continue to struggle with the
fundamentals of process excellence. In other
words, they have not managed to realise
the original business case benefits linked to
standardised processes, policies and systems.
Our study indicates that less than half of the
shared services organisations in
sub-Saharan Africa have managed to
standardise processes, policies and systems
(Figure 5). Consequently, old, inefficient,
poorly-defined processes re-emerge and
destabilise the shared services organisation.
Business process management as a
discipline needs to be supported by clearly
defined process ownership, preferably
end to end. Without a robust framework
governing core processes, the various
functional owners may make amendments
to the processes without assessing the
benefit and/or impact on the broader
organisation. This limits the organisations
ability to achieve the real standardisation
required to drive effective cost savings
and also its ability to grow by adding new
customers onto one standard process.
More than half of the sub-Saharan shared
service organisations surveyed indicated
that business processes are defined and
implemented regionally (Figure 6). African
companies generally have a more regional
than global footprint and are therefore
more likely to implement such process
governance at a regional level.

Figure 5: Less than half of the shared services organisations in sub-Saharan


Africa have managed to standardise processes, policies and systems.
Which of the following best describe the level of standardisation in your Shared Services?

Policies, processes and


supporting systems are
standardised

39%

Policies and processes


are standardised but no
supporting systems

25%
27%

Policies and
standardised but
no processes and
supporting systems

24%

No standardisation

12%

6%

Global

Africa

20%

Figure 6: 53 percent of sub-Saharan Africa shared services say their processes


are defined and implemented locally.
How does your organization manage processes and services globally?

Processes are defined


and implemented
globally

32%

27%

20%
Processes are
defined globally but
implemented regionally
(can be customised at
regional level)
Processes are defined
and implemented
regionally

44%
53%

24%
Global

47%

Africa

Process excellence is the quintessential


competitive differentiator for getting new
ideas, strategies and products to operational
excellence with pace and certainty. All
well and good in theory, but how does
an organisation demonstrate its progress
towards process excellence without the ability
to measure? Process performance can be
measured at a number of levels depending
on the organisational structure and process
ownership per business. The global trend is to
measure at an organisational or functional
level across the business, especially as this
provides an opportunity to communicate
results to key stakeholders. Organisations
that do this well have managed to make this
reporting and tracking as seamless as possible.
In sub-Saharan Africa (Figure 7), a large
percentage of organisations generate
reports manually, which are subsequently
manipulated in Excel spreadsheets. This is
time-consuming, onerous and also exposes
the organisations to control and compliance
risks. Organisations that manage performance
reporting well have focused on defining the
correct metrics, developing reports that can

draw relevant data from key source systems


and running an automated consolidation of
relevant data. This is a significant opportunity
for shared services organisations in subSaharan Africa to improve their access to data
and information with reduced effort.

Service excellence
Service excellence is typically dictated by
the customer experience when dealing
with the shared service centre. Providing
the desired service and maintaining a
predefined level of standardisation is
not an easy equation to balance. The
utilisation of standardised systems and
other enabling technologies will provide
a key element of this equation. But what
differentiates an organisation in this
regard is the implementation of a robust
service management framework. This
framework enables service relationships
between shared services and its customers
to be formalised. It also allows for service
performance to be measured and improved.

Figure 7: 47% of sub-Saharan Africa respondents indicated


that performance reports are generated manually.
How are performance reports generated?
(Multiple mention)
Extracted from
supporting systems
(ERP, case management
call switch, etc.)
Shared Services
performance reporting
database

Enterprise data
warehouse

Our research indicates that organisations


still have a long way to go with the
development of service management
elements. While most organisations offer
a wide array of options for the customersupport function interface (Figure 8), not
all of them are effective. The trend is a
move from paper-based interactions to
self-service opportunities. In addition, 47
percent of shared services in sub-Saharan
Africa have call scripts automated to assist
with the correct allocation of queries.
A surprising finding was that only 73
percent of shared services in sub-Saharan
Africa have an inventory of services
that are formally signed off, while 13
percent have no catalogue of services at
all. These service catalogues are crucial
to managing expectations regarding the
scope of services, mutual responsibilities
and demand.

Figure 8: Only 13% of sub-Saharan Africa shared services


provides a self-service option to customers.
Please select all the different channels that can be used to request services:
(Multiple mention)

58%

Email

75%

Direct call made to the


service delivery team

73%
80%

87%

33%

51%
20%

Call made to
contact/call centers

64%
73%

Request made on portal


or other web channels

33%

57%
73%

20%

41%

Fax
Manual / Excel

32%
47%

Other automated selfservice capabilities


(ERP, Kiosks, voice
response systems)

60%
16%
13%

Global
Africa
10

Continuous improvement
Continuous improvement of services and
processes is an ongoing effort that can be
achieved through incremental improvement
or by means of quick, impactful change. The
current value proposition of shared service
organisations is well understood. However,
it is continuous improvement that enables
this model to evolve. Without a mechanism
to grow and improve, the value and viability
of shared services organisations may come
into question.

Our research indicates that a majority of the


organisations surveyed have implemented a
continuous improvement process (Figure 9).
A variety of approaches have been deployed,
with some organisations favouring
continuous improvement as part of
an individuals role description while
others implement dedicated teams to
focus on improvement opportunities. A
significant insight is that 40 percent of
shared services in sub-Saharan Africa

Figure 9: Continuous improvement processes used by shared service organisations.


Is there a formal continuous improvement process?
(Multiple mention)

Shared services job descriptions


have defined continuous
improvement responsibilities

49%
40%

Defined process to
submit ideas and secure
resources

46%
40%

34%

Dedicated continuous
improvement team

Formalised lean / six


sigma / Kaizen or other
methodology

No formal continuous
improvement proces

Global
Africa

11

47%

19%
7%

5%
7%

indicated they will dedicate more than


10 percent of their annual operating
budget to continuous improvement.
This further highlights the realisation
that continuous improvement as a core
competence within shared services
organisations will drive the evolution
towards Integrated Business Services.

40 percent of shared services in


sub-Saharan Africa indicated
they will dedicate more than
10 percent of their annual
operating budget to continuous
improvement.

10% 20%

30%

40%

50% 60%

70%

80%

90%

100%
13

The war for talent remains a constraint to


the evolution of shared services with respect to
achieving high performance
The quality of the workforce has a
significant impact on the success of
shared services. In an earlier study,
Achieving High Performance through
Shared Services: Lessons from the Masters,
a majority of the respondents ranked
talent management as one of the most
significant criteria for success. This
research also indicated that the masters
would be more likely to take definitive
steps to build the workforce they need.
Despite ongoing cost pressures, shared services
masters continue to invest in the development
and upskilling of their employees.
This commitment better positions the shared
services organisation for improved service
delivery and cost efficiency and therefore,
growth and expansion. Sub-Saharan

Africa shared services organisations are no


exception and are as good, if not better,
than their global counterparts at striving to
develop a skilled and efficient workforce.
As shown in Figure 10, 40 percent of the
respondents in sub-Saharan Africa offer
external job rotation opportunities to their
employees, compared with only 27 percent
globally. This mechanism provides employees
the opportunity to gain a customer
perspective that can significantly improve
customer service in the long term. SubSaharan Africa shared services organisations
also demonstrate a significant commitment
to skills development, offering more on-thejob and formal learning opportunities for
employees than their global counterparts.

Figure 10: Sub-Saharan Africa shared services organisations are leading with on-the-job training and formal training.
What job enrichment opportunities are available
for Shared Services employes?
(Multiple mention)

Continued training /
education within shared
services

Does your people development programme include any of


the following?
(Multiple mention)

72%
80%

Job rotation within


shared services

48%

Formal
continuous learning
curriculum

61%
73%

Self-study or
instructor-led training

52%

47%
Outside training
(with other business units
or agencies)

40%

On the job training

47%

27%

Job rotation across shared


services and the business
units or agencies

None

47%

73%

27%
40%

1%

Formal skill-based/
proficiency-based model
tied to curiculum

We do not have any


people development
program

43%
43%

1%
Global
Africa

13

The area of knowledge management


represents a significant opportunity for subSaharan Africa shared services organisations.
Knowledge management facilitates
collaboration and sharing of content and
information, with the objective of getting
people the information they need in order
to perform at a higher level. Compared
with their global counterparts, only a few
shared services organisations in sub-Saharan
Africa have formal knowledge management
tools, assets and processes (Figure 11). The
formalisation of these processes should be
considered for shared services organisations
looking to reach the next level of
performance and better leverage employee
knowledge and skills.

Figure 11: Knowledge management deployed within shared services organisations.


How would you best describe your approach to Knowledge management?
(Single answer)
Function specific tools used to
manage knowledge assets

11%
7%

Common collaboration tool such


as SharePoint used to manage
knowledge assets

34%
27%

Formal process with dedicated


knowledge manager but no
tool available to manage
knowledge assets

28%
27%
23%

Loosely defined process and


toolset
We do not have any
knowledge management
capabilities

33%

4%
7%
Global
Africa

40 percent of the respondents


in sub-Saharan Africa offer
external job rotation opportunities
to their employees, compared
with only 27 percent globally.

14

Integrated Business Servicesthe next evolution for


shared services organisations
While the global economy is predicted to
grow by 23 percent between 2011 and
2020, sub-Saharan Africa is poised to grow
by 56 percent, making it one of the worlds
fastest-growing regions.
The Dynamic African Consumer: Exploring
Growth Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
But this growth potential, enabled through
increasing consumerism and global demand,
will require businesses and governments to
reorganise to meet a number of challenges.
As the business landscape becomes more
dynamic, greater demands will be put on
the organisation as a whole. This will also
be true of the role of the shared services
organisation. To remain relevant and
continue adding value to the business,
we believe the following performance

criteria will be expected of shared services


organisations:
Delivering service enhancements through
continuous improvement and driving cost
reduction targets
Enabling growth in existing and new
markets without the traditional
investments in new facilities, new
infrastructure and new people
Developing a partnership with customers
in order to provide the services they
demand and truly value
Demonstrating strategic value by providing
accurate and business-specific information
in a manner that can be easily interpreted
Attracting and retaining top talent with a
focus on developing innovative services that
enhance the organisations growth potential.

IBS is the next-generation operating


model that will enable existing shared
services organisations to partner with
their customers in addressing the dynamic
business landscape. Organisations that
have transitioned to an IBS model
have evolved beyond the traditional,
transactional and functional services. IBS
is reorganised to deliver more complete
end-to-end business solutions, focused on
providing value add to business.

Figure 12: High-level depiction of service support modelsdiscrete shared services to IBS.

IBS Lead

GBS Lead
MFSS
Lead

Fin

HR

IT

FIN
HR
IT

MFSS
Lead
FIN
HR
IT

MFSS
Lead
FIN
HR
IT

Common services management


1. Discrete Shared Services

2. Multi-Function Shared Services


(MFSS)

Classic back-office scale


functions delivered at
lower cost
Align on client services
expectations with SLAs
and joint responsibilities
From BU silos to
functional silos still creates
non-standard processes

Added skill functions and cross-


functional synergies enhance the
business case
Increase client centricity through
cross-functional priority management
Increased leverage achieved
through a common services delivery
framework

15

FIN
HR
IT

Commercial services
Supplier services
Employee services
Fianncial services
Analytic services
Services innovation

Global process owners


Global delivery network
Global services management
3. Global Business Services (GBS)

Greater end-to-end process control


and delivery of mid-office as well as
back-office services
Evolve partnership through demand
planning and global business
strategy support
Greater agility through end-to-end
process ownership and fewer delivery
partners

Global services owners


Intergrated delivery network
Intergrated services management
4. Integrated Business Services (IBS)

Increased cross-functional integration to


deliver greater business value
Full front-to-back office integration
places client experience at the center
Maximum agility through location
agnostic integrated services and partners
IBS is C-suite led and has end-to-end
decision rights over budget and
all resources

Typical characteristics of an IBS organisation


include:

Independent entity reporting to a


C-level leader
IBS is an enterprise-wide capability, playing a
strategic role and serving as a simplified onestop shop for its customers. IBS is managed
like a business, enabling it to make sourcing,
geographic and investment decisions. Senior
leadership sponsorship has always been a
critical success factor for shared services
organisations. In the continued transition to
IBS, this is even more relevant. Our research
indicates (Figure 14) that 27 percent of
shared services organisations operating in
sub-Saharan Africa report to a chief executive
officer (CEO). This indicates the elevation of
shared services strategic importance and
readiness for integrated business services.

Multifunction services
management
Even though an organisations business
services may be operated by a combination
of captive and outsourced providers (hybrid
sourcing model), a simple principle applies.
A common governance framework to
deliver business decisions and a consistent
application of a service management
framework will underpin the successful
management of services across functions
and delivery models.

Strategic process ownership and


management
Business process management and endto-end process ownership will allow
an integrated business to comply with
global process standards by leveraging
standardised systems.

Figure 13: Senior leadership sponsorship a critical success factor for shared services
CEO
Regions

Categories

Business Services

Corporate Functions

Operational
management of
the business and
external customer

Innovation and
product or service
development

Deliver support and


enabling services

Strategy and policy

Growth Platform

Efficiency Engine

Business Partner

Process & Solution


Innovation
Ongoing Scope Innovation
Plug & Play for New

Markets and Acquisitions

Provide the glue for the


entire Operating Model
End-to-End Process
Management
Deliver continuous
improvement (2-5% YoY)

Focus on user experience


Services Oriented - Measured
Exciting & Inclusive
enviroment for GBS
employees

Figure 14: 54 percent of sub-Saharan shared services organisations report to


a C-level leader.
To whom does the shared services organisation report?
CEO

18%

President

13%

27%

56%

7%

COO, VP of Operations

25%

20%

Functional leader
(CFO, CIP, CHRO, etc)

44%

46%

Global

Africa

54%

Accountability for cost reduction


and improved service delivery
As long as cost management is a priority,
shared services organisations will continue
to be relevant. Add to this the increasing
demand for value-added services and endto-end accountability and IBS becomes a
real opportunity for mature shared services
organisations.

16

Conclusion
Shared services, as an operating model, is
in the middle of a transition to the next
level. This can be attributed to the solid
benefits realised from the established
first wave of multifunctional operations.
However, some fine-tuning is required to
ensure continued relevance as a service
provider to the organisation.

Sourcing model review

Integrated Business Services

Given the current economic challenges, a


sourcing model review would be valuable,
especially if it is feasible to incorporate a
hybrid model keeping in mind business needs.

Shared services in sub-Saharan Africa is


following the global trend, while dealing with
its own unique challenges. As Africa continues
to emerge as an investment destination for
many global organisations, companies already
operating in the continent will need to focus
on a competitive strategy to maintain market
share. Shared services has a role to play in
enhancing this competitiveness.

Many organisations have turned the corner


and understand the value that a processled organisation can lend to providing
service excellence and cost-effective
operations. It is important to understand
the appropriate level of process ownership
as well as the ability to report consistently
on shared services performance, which
would ideally be run automatically from a
single source system.

A number of the fundamentals are


in place with organisations currently
providing functional support through
shared services. But the question
remainsIs the shared services
organisation evolving sufficiently to
continue providing value to the business,
and if so, is the transition to IBS the next
step in the journey?

Based on our experience and the findings


of our research, Accenture believes the
following opportunities exist for shared
services companies operating in Sub
Saharan Africa:

Scope expansion
Given a certain level of stability, the
opportunity to expand the scope of services
to include professional services will cement a
move up the value chain. Data management
and analytics will provide shared services
with a critical role with respect to
organisational insights and decision making.

17

Business process management


discipline

Talent retention and development


As resources and requisite skills remain
scarce, it is even more important to shape
the workforce in line with the organisations
requirements, invest in existing resources
and provide opportunities for loyal
employees to enhance their skills.

On this journey, it is important to be


cognisant of the fact that achieving mastery
in shared services takes time and is exactly
that, a journey.

Our research methodology

Contact us

Accenture conducted an online survey


targeting executives who are responsible
for managing and directing shared services
organisations globally. The survey focused
on five core elementsthe scope of
shared services, process excellence, service
excellence, continuous improvement, and
people, talent and culture.
Accentures research team consolidated the
responses received and analysed the overall
results. The results from respondents with
responsibilities in sub-Saharan Africa were
isolated and compared with the global data.

Ryno Matthee
Managing executive-Management
Consulting
E-mail: ryno.matthee@accenture.com
Mobile: +27 82 572 9993

Insights into the current state of shared


services in sub-Saharan Africa and the key
focus areas are discussed in this point of view.

Neal Boardman
Senior manager-Finance & Enterprise
Performance Management
E-mail: neal.boardman@accenture.com
Mobile: +27 83 387 9087
Janet De Angelis
Senior manager-Finance & Enterprise
Performance Management
E-mail: janet.deangelis@accenture.com
Mobile: +27 83 678 7277

Figure 15: Sub-Saharan Africa

sub-Saharan Africa

18

About Finance & Enterprise Performance

About Accenture

The Accenture Finance & Enterprise


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journey to high performance by identifying
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visit www.accenture.com/fpm.

Accenture is a global management consulting,


technology services and outsourcing company,
with approximately 259,000 people serving
clients in more than 120 countries. Combining
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capabilities across all industries and business
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ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is
www.accenture.com.

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