By Shalini Pillay, Office Managing Partner — Bangalore, India Leader — Global Capability Centers, KPMG in India

Over the past few years, organisations around the world have been trying to understand what the future of work looks like. This question becomes even more critical when we consider how international organisations have modeled their global footprint. These organisations have been influenced by three major forces driving the future of work, namely technology disruptions, geo-political uncertainties and workforce demographics and have built their strategies and models accordingly. And all it took were a few months for COVID-19 to completely change the intensity of these forces as we knew them.

While organisations were planning for the future, keeping a 5-10 years horizon in consideration, COVID-19 accelerated them well into the future, ahead of any timeline they may have had in mind.

What this means for global organisations is that they will need to reimagine the way work is done and it is very clear that the future for them is ‘agile globalisation’, which is the ability to be global and agile at the same time. This way of working will soon become the key to remaining competitive in the future, while embracing a highly flexible enterprise architecture, supported by a robust business resilience plan.

What, where and how are Global Capability Centers (GCCs) influencing and driving this change?

GCCs have become increasingly integral to global service delivery. Due to the pandemic, most global organisations have been compelled to realign their delivery strategy, enterprise architecture, workforce, and business resilience plan, keeping in mind the influence technology adoption has on every component of the business value chain.

Key takeaways

  • The pandemic has forced organisations to review their global service delivery model to ensure they are agile, optimal and fit for purpose
  • Global Capability Centers are at the core, driving the transformation across the wider business value chain
  • Organisations that have adopted ‘Agile Globalisation’ and rewired their service delivery model will be at a competitive advantage.

Some trends that are driving the evolution of GCCs:

  • A shrinking degree of separation between the end customer and what gets designed and delivered from a GCC
  • Emergence of newer, specialised areas of work driving significant impact, viz: artificial intelligence, customer experience, strategic sourcing, operations management, ESG, among others
  • The emergence of new models of co-creation and co-sourcing by working with various ecosystem partners
  • Rationalisation of the location portfolio due to blurring of geographical boundaries and emergence of location-independent work processes
  • Distributed human workforce augmented by a digital workforce
  • Increasing adoption of an agile architecture containing a mesh of microservices offered over cloud, backed up by robust cybersecurity arrangements
  • Significant investment in re-skilling/up-skilling the workforce to handle future impediments, which is also the biggest challenge today
  • Employee experience, productivity and performance measurement being redefined in the new technology-enabled hybrid virtual model
  • Dynamic risk assessment taking over traditional risk assessment methods to be better prepared for future business continuity situations

Today, we are experiencing a very exciting phase in the evolution of the service delivery model. Global organisations that are now aware of what the future holds and have begun to accordingly adapt to changing market dynamics and adopt a globally agile model will find themselves with a competitive advantage in the future.