The future of corporate and business functions

An opportunity to Reset + Reimagine

Over the past several years, organizations have adapted to seismic changes in their environment—a global pandemic, war, supply-chain disruptions, the rise of remote work, and a reconceiving of the corporation as a sustainable, inclusive enterprise, rather than just a short-term-profit focused business.

And yet they still face unending volatility, only now in the form of high inflation, persistent labor constraints in many sectors, and the threat of recession. As a consequence, leading organizations are also fundamentally rethinking the way their corporate functions—such as HR, finance, procurement, and real estate—will operate. Meeting the challenges will require companies both to reset these functions, especially to align to new cost pressures, and to radically reimagine some of these functions’ fundamentals: what they do, how they do it, and most important, why they do it—the expanded impact they can potentially achieve in a digitally enabled world.

This collection expands on both of these intertwined themes, identifying practical moves leaders can make to help their organizations navigate the present while preparing for the future.

Reset general and administrative expense to address cost

For functional organizations, recent experience underscores the need for sharper capabilities in cost management and planning for uncertainty. More broadly, that means learning how to better scale corporate costs in light of growing, stable, or shrinking revenue projections. The corporate center therefore plays a critical role in reshaping the organization for resilience, with shared business-services organizations also embarking on digital evolutions despite cost pressures. Finally, leaders find that they can learn new lessons from a powerful approach to building long-term flexibility: zero-based approaches to organization design.

Preparing for the future of SG&A

– Shorter planning cycles, higher cost-cutting targets, and hybrid working models are defining how organizations reimagine their... sales, general, and administrative (SG&A) functions.

Acting where it makes a difference: The corporate center that can flex

– The demands facing general and administrative functions are changing, strengthening the case for corporate centers to embrace... more flexible operating models.

Global business-services sourcing comes of age

– How can companies ensure their technology and business-services sourcing is creating real value? And how can service providers... create propositions that support continued growth?

Do your G&A functions fit your growth trajectory?

– New research shows how a company’s growth trajectory affects the size of its HR and finance functions. The insights can... help leaders shape general and administrative functions to strategic needs.

The corporate center: Driving the next normal

– As organizations adjust to a new world of work, they’re looking at the corporate center to take the lead in driving the... change.

The SG&A imperative in times of crisis

– A crisis presents unique challenges in making wise spending decisions. Zero-based principles can help leaders move SG&A investments... where they should be—rather than where they have always been.

Learn more about our work in Corporate & Business Capabilities

Reimagine a digital vision of the future for corporate functions

For organizations not only to survive but thrive in 2023 and beyond, a digital reimagining of corporate functions can help them adapt to emerging market developments. Agility will likely prove essential, as will a new vision of productivity based on transformed enterprise platforms. Cutting-edge technologies can then reveal new ways to evolve end-to-end processes, including through advanced analytics—but to achieve lasting change at scale, leaders will need to determine which analytics success factors really matter.

What matters: How to scale advanced analytics in corporate functions

– Organizations are starting to embrace advanced analytics as a core pillar of innovation within their general and administrative... functions.

How can corporate functions become more agile?

– Faster decision making, better interdepartment coordination, and a sharper focus on business priorities are much more possible... with the thoughtful adoption of agile models.

How good are your internal operations—really?

– When evaluating operational processes, human observation goes only so far. New data and analytics technologies can yield insights... that are much more objective—and powerful.

Unleashing the next wave of productivity in corporate business functions

– A how-to guide for maximizing the ROI of enterprise platform transformations in the consumer packaged goods industry

The future of G&A: Revitalizing the heart of the organization

– General and administrative functions are under pressure to become more digital, more agile, and better aligned to the needs of... the wider business. A more strategic model could hold the key.

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