How to tackle multi-lingual environments & business divisions in a shared service model

There are lots of pressures for businesses today to cut costs. More and more are seeing a shift in needing to move to ‘digital’ to increase their revenue streams. By moving to a shared service model, it does several things. Firstly, standardisation. This means that you can reduce cost, you can make better use of resources and you can migrate your IT and other services to a cheaper operating model. Secondly, if you are looking for more agility within the business, you will probably need to invest money, however, if you can make this wise investment once so that all your business divisions can make use of it, your benefits will be greater than if you just invested in a single operating division. This can amount to a massive cost saving.

When looking at consolidating to a single organisation using multi-lingual environments, organisations must look at how their time zones are going to work across their operating geographies. They will also need to factor in what the hours of service are going to be, and the languages they need to support. Certain organisations who want to go multi-lingual, when looking at a service desk across multiple geographies, for example, can run into language problems. They can get around this problem by stating that the business language should be configured in English. This works most of the time within the IT department, however, it gets a bit more difficult when they start to look at implementing a self-service option. If they have end-users within different geographies, they may start to find it difficult to insist that they only use English language. So, you must ensure that the self-service portal is multi-lingual, the knowledge articles are multi-lingual, and the service requests are multi-lingual.

Organisations must also effectively plan when looking to consolidate their business divisions to a shared service model. They must consider the different requirements and processes between these businesses and indeed the geographies. One of the things organisations run into when looking at shared services, is that while IT can consolidate, it’s difficult to do this with their other business divisions, such as Finance, due to them being rigidly structured around country or region. What that means is organisations must adapt to cope with multiple systems and models, it may create more work and can be complex, but by doing it at the start, it will save time and money in the future.

Gary Pruden

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By Daniel Swann