How can global businesses be more effective post-pandemic?

PwC provides insights on 6 key areas

Michael Huber, Director, Corporate Finance/M&A, PwC Switzerland

Jakub Rzasa
GBS Consultant, PwC Switzerland

Sarthak Mahapatra

Sarthak Mahapatra
Managing Director, Head of GBS, PwC Switzerland

In the post-pandemic era, the global business environment has undergone significant changes, prompting companies to adjust their operations and respond to evolving customer demands. The effects of the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn are still being felt worldwide, with companies tackling the challenges of the "new normal." Businesses constantly need to adapt to the changing landscape to remain competitive and successful. To thrive in this new era, firms must rethink their Global Business Services (GBS) strategies. Our experts consider the following topics as crucial for GBS in 2023:

Improving value delivery

To ensure an effective GBS value delivery, it is necessary to streamline business processes such as finance, HR, procurement, as well as IT, and to focus on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, data analytics, talent management, and technology enablement. The GBS delivery model will create the right value to the core business if SLAs and KPIs are aligned with the needs of the individual business units and customer satisfaction is measured continuously. However, it is not enough to just monitor the value. GBS leaders must also strive for service optimisation by constantly identifying opportunities for improvement. This can be done by tracking KPIs, discussing the options with the process owners, and then creating a mandate in the GBS organisation to implement them.

As a result, organisations are provided with greater flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency, allowing them to focus on core functions and to drive growth in a rapidly changing business landscape. Additionally, better integration of GBS services can lead to enhanced collaboration, innovation, and overall business performance.

Becoming a strategic partner

GBS can do much more than just provide services. As a strategic partner to the business, GBS can support the organisation's overall strategic objectives. But what does “to act as a strategic partner to the business” mean? In simple terms, it means collaborating with other business units to drive the overall strategic direction of the organisation. GBS teams need to understand the organisation's operations and goals and must leverage their capabilities to help achieve them. In this respect, the highest possible output can be achieved by ensuring the GBS functions are aligned with the broader organisational strategy. This requires a deep understanding of the company's goals and objectives, as well as the ability to collaborate with business units to identify opportunities for process improvement and innovation. If HR is involved correspondingly, it can also put the right talent in place to support the company's objectives.

Aligning GBS services with business goals will lead to increased efficiency, better decision-making, and consequently, to increased revenue and profitability. Furthermore, by leveraging data and analytics, GBS can also help organisations identify new opportunities for growth and gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries.

Elevating talent 

With rapidly evolving technologies being one of the key challenges, it is essential for companies to empower th transformation by keeping the skills and experience of their workforce always up to date. To ensure talent elevation, a company needs to invest in employee development and training programs, establish a clear career path for GBS employees, and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. This involves identifying the necessary skills and competencies, providing opportunities for professional development, and promoting a supportive work environment that encourages innovation and creativity.  

By upgrading skills and talent in the global GBS organisation, companies can ensure that they have the right people to support operations and drive growth. This can help them stay ahead of the competition, deliver value to their customers, and achieve their strategic objectives. 

Boosting customer experience

Improving GBS customer experience refers to the process of enhancing the quality of services provided by GBS to its internal customers across the organisation. This involves understanding their needs and expectations, optimising processes, and streamlining service delivery. By leveraging the right technology, GBS can also provide self-service options and improve communication and collaboration between teams and customers. Additionally, collecting feedback and analysing data allows to understand customer needs and to locate inefficiencies, remove bottlenecks and thus deliver services that meet the customers’ expectations.

Once these steps are implemented, companies can create a customer-oriented culture and generate customer-oriented processes that focus on a timely and responsive support. Finally, improving the quality of services provided by GBS will result in increased satisfaction across the business units and contribute to the success of the organisation.

Driving digital transformation 

To achieve digital transformation in GBS, a company needs to first assess its existing processes and identify areas for improvement. The next to leverage digitalization is to implement digital technologies and upskill the employees with solutions that can help optimise and automate these processes. This includes cloud computing, but also the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced analytics techniques and visualisation tools to analyse data, identify patterns and trends, and make data-driven decisions. 

Digital transformation in GBS enables date-driven decision-making, improves efficiency and accuracy, reduces costs, and enhances customer experiences.

Fostering enterprise growth

Supporting enterprise growth strategies involves developing and executing plans and initiatives that align with the company's long-term goals and objectives. This includes identifying opportunities for expansion, improving operational efficiency, and leveraging technology and innovation, but also fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement throughout the organisation. If GBS services understand the needs of business units and support their growth objectives, a data-driven culture can be established, and analytical talents can be nurtured.

Supporting enterprise growth strategies brings various advantages, such as increased revenue and profitability, improved market share, enhanced brand reputation, expanded customer base, and higher competitiveness. By aligning business goals with growth strategies, companies can therefore achieve sustainable growth, increase innovation, and maximise returns on investments.


The global business environment has significantly changed due to the pandemic, making it essential for companies to adjust operations and respond to evolving customer demands. To thrive in this new era, firms must rethink their GBS strategies. According to our experts, key topics for 2023 are improving GBS value delivery, becoming a strategic partner and elevating talent. Furthermore, customer experience, digital transformation and enterprise growth strategies remain important GBS areas too.


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Jakub Rzasa

Jakub Rzasa

Consultant, PwC Switzerland

Sarthak Mahapatra

Sarthak Mahapatra

Managing Director and Global Business Services Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 570 17 32​