Let’s not chase technology for technology’s sake !

The Six Million-Dollar Questions

Sandy Khanna
Sandy Khanna
Global Head of Shared Services, Anglo American
Global Head of Shared Services at Anglo American. Sandy is a business leader with 25+ years of experience in transforming organizations into next-generation enterprises and GBS organizations.
Caroline Basyn
Sashi Narahari
Founder and CEO
CEO and Founder of HighRadius, a Fintech enterprise SaaS company which leverages AI-based Autonomous Systems to help companies automate Accounts Receivable and Treasury. Sashi’s leadership has secured the trust of 200+ Global 2000 companies.

Podcast Summary:
Six Million Dollar Questions every GBS Leaders want to Know

Million Dollar Question #1:In the past, you’ve been more inclined towards outsourcing compared to captive models. For deploying shared services, which model would you suggest and why?
Key Points
  • This world, especially in the GBS space, is increasingly growing into hybrid models.
  • An ecosystem of partners is critical in most industries. Why?
    • They can underwrite investments and commit to outcomes.
    • They can leverage talent pools in ways that can offer career pathways that perhaps captive can’t do.
    • They can provide shared investment in technology and deeper R&D budgets.
  • The choice of the model is not just about the time, it’s more about cultural adoption and maturity.
  • Whether you are captive or outsourced, this hybrid world needs to have strategic assets as a natural extension of the organization.
Million Dollar Question #2: There is a lot of debate on what companies should do. Should you do the lift and shift the process first or standardize first and then move it?
Key Points
  • It is critical to ask “why would you not realize bottom-line savings as soon as possible, and then use that saving to fund elements of the transformation”
  • Centralizing your processes will give higher sustainability with a safer experience than trying it in several business units in the world.
  • What is going on in Anglo American?
    • We’re deploying the full end-to-end finance transformation.
    • We’re reimagining how we leverage and scale shared services to new levels.
    • I lean towards doing it once in a central place, embedding the controls, making changes happen with the people who will be involved in the long term.
  • The key to this question is Lift & Shift, take your money, embed the controls, and make the transformation happen!
Million Dollar Question #3:There is a lot of confusion from a technology point of view. There are ERPs, there is RPA, foundational cloud platforms; what is your general viewpoint as you’re going through this transformation?
Key Points
  • GBS organizations should be the home for the continuum of process excellence and automation.
  • Let’s not chase technology for technology’s sake.
  • It is not just about digitizing the end-to-end process and managing transactions but also about monitoring and controlling the automated execution of these transactions.
  • With the right set of technology, you can become the digital command center that can leverage a variety of technologies and function as the center of excellence.
Million Dollar Question #4: You’ve built and managed so many global businesses and generated significant revenue and growth. Could you share your secret recipe for transforming GBS from a cost-cutting focus to a revenue growth strategy?
Key Points
  • It always used to be about the cost and labor differentials, but once we have saved the code, we can move to efficiency.
  • Terms like effectiveness, quality, and control came into the picture when we started asking the question, “what were we actually delivering?”
  • Actionable insights are where we demonstrate that our future is more around helping our respective organizations to drive revenue
  • The key to this question is developing talents. That is the biggest asset to our business – in addition to cost & growth, we also need to retrain, retain and reinvent the people skills.
Million Dollar Question #5: Everyone is confused between core ERP versus modern SaaS platforms today. In your view, what is the trade-off?
Key Points
  • A few years ago, it seemed many on-prem ERPs were waning.
  • Meanwhile, many enabling tools & technologies emerged during the last few years which have become the core of the ecosystem.
  • To create a sustainable solution and not just a short-term fix, you need to leverage the best-of-breed products and partners – you’d be extraordinarily short-sighted not to leverage this ecosystem.
  • You should have your core first and then you should use the right ecosystem to help you develop what you’re looking to deliver.
Million Dollar Question #6:On a closing note, what parting advice would you like to leave for your listeners?
Key Points
  • Don’t just be a passenger, dive deeper and get engaged in the conversation, and get your hands dirty to understand everything.
  • Focus on your biggest asset- talent that you are growing under your organization.
  • Each and every one is unique so encourage them to upskill together.
  • Sandy’s four C’s to exist in a new hybrid working model-
    • Culture
    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Companionship

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