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Tim’s Takeaways: Shared Services & Outsourcing Week 2023


Tim Rund

Date Published

Jun 20, 2023
4 minute read
Shared Services and Outsourcing Week

Shared Services & Outsourcing Week (SSOW) is the world’s largest and longest-running shared services and outsourcing event. Below, TC shared services expert Tim Rund provides his takeaways on what leaders were talking about during the event.

Generative AI.

One of the reasons that attendance at SSOW is so valuable is that the sessions and conversations that take place provide insight from global leaders into the future direction of shared services for the federal government.

The demonstration of Generative AI at this year’s conference is one such example. The federal government can expect to see a significant advancement in the delivery of shared services through the use of rapidly evolving generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

Generative AI effectively builds upon many of the earlier stages of the shared services maturation journey such as digitization, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Intelligent Automation (IA). The rapid evolution of Generative AI capabilities allows shared services practitioners to more quickly harvest and analyze the ever larger shared services-related data sets needed to inform decision makers.

Conversational AI.

New developments in the area of Conversational AI are yet another major advancement in the evolution of shared services’ goals of greater efficiency and effectiveness in the areas of people, process, and technology. Early efforts to reduce labor costs led to the “off-shoring” or shifting of labor to competent international markets with lower labor costs or in the case of the federal government, to “on-shoring” to less expensive geographic zones within the United States.

Just as RPA and IA led to significant improvements in shared services processes, the emergence of innovations such as Conversational AI will radically change the way that customer experience-related interactions will occur in the future. Long wait times to speak with “someone” and frustrations with early-stage “Help Bots” will be replaced with life-like avatars and conversational exchanges mimicking human-like interactions.

Hybrid service delivery.

What is hybrid service delivery, you may ask? It’s simply a combination of on-site/in-house and outsourced service delivery. The bottom line is that hybrid service delivery allows for more efficient utilization of human assets to perform more sophisticated reasoning and contextual analysis. That’s because hybrid work models enhance opportunities for a more diverse workforce, integration of geographically dispersed team members, and more flexibility in terms of work location and hours – all made possible through technology and significant shifts in cultural attitudes towards remote work. I like to think of it as people working around the clock without anyone actually having to work around the clock.

What we’ve covered today is just the tip of the SSOW iceberg. If you’d like to hear more or chat about shared services in general, I am available anytime at