With the emergence of the digital economy, the identity of the global in-house center (or GIC, once known as a “captive”) is rapidly changing. While businesses first turned to offshore in-house service centers as a pathway to cost arbitrage, the past couple of years have seen a renewed influx of companies from a wide array of industries create GICs — and with a different focus. The role for these newly created GICs is to pursue innovation-focused efforts and to accelerate the enterprise’s exploration of new digital technologies, such as advanced analytics, machine learning, robotic process automation, blockchain and artificial intelligence.
It’s not surprising, then, that companies with established GICs are beginning to reassess their service centers with a more critical eye. Many are not satisfied with how the GIC cost equation has evolved, and they’re looking for more bang for the buck. Pressured to become more innovative, agile and digitally-focused, they want their GICs to serve as a resource for innovation and their digital enterprise goals. As a result, many are beginning to reexamine their investment.
The issue is, just as their parent companies are struggling to adapt to the new realities of the digital economy, so too are established GICs, which are challenged to adopt emerging technologies, lower their operational costs, and hire and retain digital talent.