P&G's system, for example, is the culmination of a decade-long global shared IT services effort that started with the centralization and consolidation of core IT infrastructure and ERP systems, and the optimization and standardization of associated business processes worldwide.
Most businesses measure the initial payoff of IT globalization initiatives in IT cost savings and infrastructure-level operational efficiencies. By that metric, Passerini says, P&G cut its IT costs by one-third and saved $1 billion over the past nine years. But the global business services built on top of those common platforms and processes are becoming a vital competitive differentiator as well as a potential revenue-generator.
Five steps to IT globalization
â€¢ Consolidate onto a private cloud infrastructure.
â€¢ Globalize core enterprise network services and applications.
â€¢ Standardize business processes.
â€¢ Establish common front-office systems and other software platforms to enable integration of business units that sell into the same markets and to create collective synergies that will help increase revenue.
â€¢ Transition in stages from a federated structure to a multicultural, virtual IT organization that's centrally managed but dispersed globally so as to be close to each business unit.
â€¢ Consolidate infrastructure.
â€¢ Centralize services.
â€¢ Standardize applications.
â€¢ Optimize business processes.
â€¢ Move toward strategic sourcing.
- Robert L. Mitchell
At P&G, the goal is to innovate faster in order to compete in an industry where the speed to market for new products is accelerating. The business services, ranging from strategic sourcing to product innovation, "have dramatically compressed our time to market," Passerini says.
Similar efforts are under way at The Vanguard Group, Bank of America and Equifax. Here's what IT executives at those companies have to say about building -- and selling -- a global IT services operation.
Centralize, Optimize, Innovate