Global Business Services Maturity

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 business processes 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.



KPMG research and analysis


In late 2011, KPMG LLP U.S. (KPMG) began conducting an ongoing series of research initiatives in which we interview global business services leaders at leading Global 500 and FORTUNE 1000 companies.


Our initial goal was a deep understanding of:

  • Global business services (GBS) maturity evaluation
  • Business and organizational priorities—what are the drivers and best paths to help optimization?
  • Operational imperatives—what are the organizational and operational factors that drive GBS excellence?
  • Enablers and barriers—what needs to be overcome now?


Read our ground-breaking white papers:

Global Business Services Innovation: Optimizing the Business Model for Competitiveness

Drive to the Top: The Journey, Lessons and Standards of Global Business Services



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


Get more insight on global business services on this website.


Read our blogs on global business services.


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:

  • Commercial orientation
  • Delivery models employed
  • Global process ownership
  • Governance and organizational models
  • Degree of standardization


Click on the image to enlarge (PDF 349 KB).

KPMG GBS maturity model

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 pivot to evaluating 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.

Join the study


KPMG is asking senior managers in global business services organizations to participate in the study. We seek line of business managers who use shared services to drive business excellence.


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:


click the image for more Stan Lepeak

Stan Lepeak
Director of Global Research
KPMG LLP Management Consulting
+1 203 458 0677