United States

Global Business Services Maturity Research Program


What does the term Global Business Services mean?

KPMG defines Global Business Services (GBS) as the collective set of resources, capabilities and systems to deliver support services such as finance and accounting (F&A), human resources (HR), procurement and other front, middle, and back-office business processes and services across an organization.

Implied in GBS is greater aggregation and leveraging of common information technology (IT) and business processes, models and leading practices to deliver these services more efficiently and effectively than in the past.

As the name implies, this is often done on a global scale, using multiple service delivery models including elements of shared services,outsourcing and, increasingly, cloud solutions.

Read our blogs on Global Business Services.

Explore more Global Business Services content.

KPMG research and analysis

In 2012, KPMG LLP U.S. (KPMG) has conducted ongoing research initiatives based on interviews with Global Business Services leaders at Global 500 and FORTUNE 1000 companies.  

To date we have conducted 250 assessments with strong coverage in pharmaceutical, financial services, consumer and technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries.

Our initial goal was a deep understanding of the following:

  • Developing an evaluation model to assessing organizations' Global Business Services (GBS) maturity
  • Business and organizational priorities—what are the drivers and best paths to help GBS optimization?
  • Operational imperatives, and best practices—what are the organizational and operational factors that drive GBS excellence?
  • Enablers and barriers to greater GBS maturity—what needs to be done today to capitalize on the former and overcome the latter?

Featured research

What the research tells us

Five characteristics stand out as being critical to organizations driving business efficiency and value through the use of GBS:

  • Align operations and delivery: Companies with the most effective global business services align all aspects of delivery with operations—the closer the linkage the better
  • Focus on growth: An emphasis on supporting innovation and business revenue growth characterized the most mature GBS organizations—revenue support is still off the table for most organizations
  • Support noncore activities: Supporting noncore activities is fast becoming the norm as GBS organizations gain greater trust with business unit leaders
  • Integrate global processes: A high level of global process integration is an underpinning for supporting GBS expansion
  • Provide data analytics: Capturing, mining and analyzing operational data is the next plateau for adding value

Explore our past research

KPMG's Global Business Services maturity model

Our model defines five levels of maturity, ranging from suboptimized up through differentiated.

The assessment and measurement of an organization's service delivery maturity should occur across a range of operating categories such as the following:

  • Delivery and sourcing strategy
  • Service portfolio
  • Data and analytics
  • Talent management
  • Process excellence
  • Change and program management
  • Enabling technology
  • Enterprise service governance
  • Commercial perspective
  • Tax and risk optimization

Click here, or on the image below, to view the full size infographic (PDF).

Document cover image

Note: It is important to balance the benefits of pursuing greater maturity against the cost and complexity of doing so. The pursuit of "academic" maturity without a strong business case is ill-advised.

Next phase research

The next stage of research and analysis will focus on the business outcomes of Global Business Services organizations.

Some of the outcomes to be analyzed include:

  • The importance of nimble governance and corporate decision making that results, for example, in faster and better M&A decisions and new business integration
  • Talent management improvement efforts for both line of business and shared services
  • The impact that global shared services has on increased revenue opportunities, customer loyalty, and satisfaction measures
  • The role that global business services plays as a foundation for enhanced business and data analytics and development of new measurement tools which are emerging because of the presence of shared services
  • The requirements for managed governance services and the role of third parties in providing them
  • The impacts and opportunities derived from greater adoption of process and cognitive automation technologies 

Join the study

KPMG is asking senior managers in global business services organizations to participate in the study.

We conduct a one-hour interview and share all of the research results with the participants. All company insight is kept confidential and results are aggregated. We plan during this phase to break out results by industry and size of company.

For information on joining the study group, contact:

Don Ryan

Don Ryan

Director Advisory, Shared Services and Outsourcing
+1 617 988 1538 LinkedIn
Stan Lepeak

Stan Lepeak

Global Research Director, KPMG LLP