Global business services maturity research program

What drives excellence in global business services? What comes out of maturing capabilities? KPMG is always asking.

What is global business services?

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. This is often done on a global scale, using multiple service delivery models including elements of shared services, outsourcing, cloud and, increasingly, intelligent automation.

KPMG research and analysis

Since 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.  

We have conducted hundreds of assessments with strong coverage in pharmaceutical, financial services, consumer and technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries. Our goal is a deep understanding of:

  • evaluation models to assess 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?

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

KPMG's global business services maturity model

View the image as a PDF


Our model defines five levels of maturity, ranging from fragmented to strategic. The assessment and measurement of an organization's service delivery maturity occurs across a range of operating categories such as:

  • 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.

Always balance the benefits of pursuing greater maturity against the cost and complexity of doing so. 

Business outcome analyses

Some of the outcomes of maturing global business services we analyze in this research 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
  • impacts that global shared services has on increasing 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
  • requirements for managed governance services and the role of third parties in providing them
  • impacts and opportunities derived from greater adoption of process and cognitive automation technologies. 

Join the study

KPMG invites senior managers in global business services organizations to participate in this ongoing study. We conduct a one-hour interview and share all of the research results with  participants. All company insight is kept confidential and results are aggregated. 

Contact us to learn more.