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By Laura Burton, Associate Director, Deloitte

One of the hottest topics out there currently, both for our clients and also internally at Deloitte is digital transformation. But what does it actually mean?

  • Is it using robots to replace humans? No.
  • Is it using computers to do manual tasks? Kind of.
  • Is it about changing the way we do business through digitising our processes? Yes.
  • Would it be helpful to be talked through a real-life example of what this means in practice? Absolutely.

I have worked in Global Mobility services at Deloitte for the past 14 years and it’s fair to say that a lot has changed over the past decade (and a bit). When I started the job, one of my responsibilities was to print the email exchanges of the day (oh the poor environment) and label these up to be put in the files by the team of archivers who worked in the basement. This sounds horrific in today’s world and I’m pleased to say for all involved that we now have an electronic filing system and we are a paperless Firm.

A small and yet incredibly important example of digital transformation that is easy to observe and understand. Let’s also do a shout out to the printers that learnt how to staple during this window of my career too- whoop!

But what is the future of digital transformation and what should we be doing today that will transform the way we work tomorrow?

In the Global Mobility space the answer to this question currently is, data.

  • What data do we have available?
  • How clean is this data?
  • What can the data tell us?
  • How can we derive business value from the data?
  • Who should be using this data?

One of the challenges that many of our clients face is knowing the cost of moving an employee from A to B and how much it will cost the business once they are there. To truly make the best commercial/strategic decision over whether or not an employee should be assigned overseas; what is the cost/benefit to both the business and the individual?

Traditionally, businesses have relied on external datasets to inform their decision making process and to understand what the transfer and on the ground costs will be; in addition to using tax projection software to give them an indication of the tax cost. But how about flipping that process on its head and using the data you already have within the business to inform the budgets of the future?

For example, if you know how much you spent on your assignment population in the past 12 months, why not use this data to predict the costs of assignments in the next 12 months? Let’s also introduce external datasets to help account for how the costs of the past may change in the future.

Deloitte’s Mobility Forecaster tool does just that, using data analytics, machine learning and modelling we are able to predict ten times more accurately the cost of an assignment when compared to traditional methods. We are also able to compare, amend, redraft and store cost projections, instantaneously removing time spent preparing budgets in the first place. And how about being able to select a candidate that is cheaper by linking up your cost projection models with your HR database?

But how do we significantly transform the business using this tool?

We make it simple enough to be put in the hands of anyone in the business who needs to access and use it. Thereby making the whole process more streamlined and efficient.

To learn more about Deloitte’s Mobility Forecaster click here.

 

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Laura Burton

Laura has worked for Deloitte since 2005 in Global Mobility Tax supporting companies with their globally mobile workforce including the digital transformation of processes within this field.

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