The GBS Masterminds Podcast
CIO Realism Meets GBS Priorities for Business Value
August 2, 2023
Watch Kellogg’s and Indorama leaders discuss how synergy can be established between the CIO's pragmatism and GBS's focus on efficiency.
Is GBS's Digital Transformation on top of your priority list for 2023?

Collaborative approach is key to success
Partnership between IT and GBS is needed to bring value to the organization. While GBS strategy is focused on efficiency and maximizing ROI, IT brings realism by considering integration, sustainability, and the long-term impact of tech solutions. A strict business case approach to technology adoption yields positive returns for the business, and a collaborative approach is necessary for the success of both IT and GBS objectives.

IT should be accountable for GBS’s tech integration
IT should have control over tech decisions but work closely with GBS as strong partners. GBS has the greatest need for IT support, and IT must understand GBS's need to make the best use of technology. IT should also be accountable for ensuring GBS’s tech solutions are linked to the wider organization. Understanding organizational needs, driving value, and working together is crucial for successful GBS initiatives. Prioritizing resources and budgets for the benefit of the organization is essential. A win-win approach is necessary to avoid rifts and achieve organizational goals.

Experience with RPA is complicated
There is hype around RPA benefits, the need to automate processes, and drive efficiencies. But implementing it requires a well-thought-out strategy and involves identifying the benefits and business case around RPA before investing resources and efforts. IT experts are crucial to RPA development and execution. Implementing RPA can also bring challenges around finding the right people with the necessary technical and process understanding and, assessing the business case's return on investment. Upfront investment plus the sustainment required can keep these RPA initiatives from taking off.

Technology investments are inevitable
There is a growing need for technology investments to ensure future success. It is important to match digital transformation strategy and its investments with strategic priorities to ensure that projects have a solid business case. Though, GBS often comes with strong business cases, providing confidence and trust to the organization. Critical GBS projects around digitalization and transformation initiatives are long-term initiatives that benefit the overall organization along with the GBS itself. Explicit digitalization teams can be instituted to drive organization-wide initiatives, such as implementing a procurement tool that benefits procurement, finance, and GBS organizations. The overall business case needs to be considered to ensure value generation. 

Aligning global and regional business priorities
Regional IT heads have their regional priorities to consider causing natural skepticism about GBS-initiated projects. Concerns might be around the business case or the way of implementation has alignment with the regional priorities. For times when GBS has to achieve its priorities despite IT teams having multiple projects. GBS and IT need to sit together to address the challenges and ensure projects’ deferral does not cause undue pressure on resources or budgets.

  1. “I absolutely do not think they(GBS) should have control over those tech decisions, that absolutely should sit within the realm of the IT organization and the CIO.” 
    -  John Hobson, CIO, Europe at Kellogg Company
“This(GBS) is not a fairy tale perception, this is actually a reality. Global Business Services in which the industry is living for the last 30 plus years”
-   Ajay Wadhwa, Head - Global Business Services at Indorama Ventures PCL
Episode resources
John Hobson on LinkedIn
Ajay Wadhwa on LinkedIn
The GBS Masterminds Podcast

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