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Deloitte Report Explores AI and Other Technology Trends

Deloitte has released its 10th annual report on technology trends, “Tech Trends 2019: Beyond the Digital Frontier.The report explores how the convergence of new technologies with powerful technological forces is driving disruption across industries. New technologies include advanced networking, serverless computing and intelligent interfaces; and technological forces encompassing digital experiences, cognitive and cloud.

Ten years ago, when smartphones and mobile apps were gaining traction, and technologies like cloud and the Internet of Things were emerging on the scene, Deloitte released its first Tech Trends report. Some companies are only beginning to explore trends discussed in 2010, while others have advanced rapidly along the maturity curve, the Big 4 firm says.

Scott Buchholz

“The report details how organizational leadership can shape ambitions and instill a culture to sense and make sense of what tomorrow may bring. And – importantly – a path to get there from the realities of today,” says Scott Buchholz, managing director and government and public services CTO, Deloitte Consulting LLP

The report begins with a reflection on a decade of disruptive change driven by nine forces: digital experience, analytics, cloud, core modernization, cyber, business of information technology, cognitive, blockchain, and digital reality. The report explores where these forces are headed.

Deloitte’s report also covers six trends:

  • AI-fueled organizations – Leading companies are systematically deploying rapidly maturing technologies – machine learning, natural language processing, RPA and cognitive – not just to every core business process, but into products, services and the future of industries.
  • NoOps in a serverless world – We’ve reached the next stage in the evolution of cloud computing, with technical resources completely abstracted and management tasks increasingly automated. Freed from mundane responsibilities, IT talent can focus on activities that more directly support business outcomes.
  • Connectivity of tomorrow – At both macro and micro levels, technologies like 5G, mesh networks, and edge computing are expanding business’ reach. Advanced networking is driving development of new products and services and is transforming how work gets done.
  • Intelligent interfaces – Today, people interact with technology through ever-more intelligent interfaces that combine the latest in human-centered design techniques with leading-edge technologies such as computer vision, conversational voice, auditory analytics, augmented reality and virtual reality.
  • Beyond Marketing – Experience reimagined  To deliver the highly personalized, contextualized experiences that today’s customers expect, some chief marketing officers are using a new generation of marketing tools and techniques focused on personalized, contextual and dynamic experiences.
  • DevSecOps and the cyber imperative – DevSecOps fundamentally transforms cyber, security, privacy and risk management from being compliance-based activities into essential framing mindsets across the product journey.

The final chapter explores how modern businesses can navigate digital transformation – building a roadmap that incorporates the right technologies, techniques, talent and executive support.

Deloitte Board Nominates New U.S. CEO to Replace Engelbert

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Joseph Ucuzoglu

According to The Wall Street Journal, Deloitte LLP’s board has nominated Joseph Ucuzoglu, who leads the firm’s audit practice, as its official candidate to replace CEO Cathy Engelbert, who will apparently serve just one term.

The Journal, citing internal emails, reports that Janet Foutty, head of Deloitte’s consulting business, was nominated to be U.S. chairman. Both candidates are subject to a vote by Deloitte’s partners and principals early next year.

The board chose Ucuzoglu after deciding earlier this year not to nominate Engelbert for a second term. The Journal reported in June that the move stunned partners.

“Until this week, there was still a chance Ms. Engelbert’s name might be put back into consideration as part of Deloitte’s elaborate CEO-selection process,” writes reporter Michael Rapoport.

In an email the Journal obtained, Mike Fucci, Deloitte’s current U.S. chairman, said that while Ucuzoglu and Foutty are “the most qualified and best prepared candidates” to lead the firm, write-in candidates have been submitted to the board for consideration.

Engelbert says in a prepared statement that it had been “my privilege” to serve as CEO. “I am excited for the future and look forward to supporting a successful and smooth transition process to new leadership through the end of my term.”

Engelbert became the first woman CEO of a U.S. Big 4 firm when she took the job in 2015.

Deloitte Board Fails to Re-Nominate CEO Engelbert

Catherine Engelbert

Catherine Engelbert

New York-based Deloitte (FY17 net revenue of $18.6 billion) has told its partners that the first woman to run a Big 4 firm in the U.S., Cathy Engelbert, has not been renominated for a second four-year term, the Wall Street Journal reported June 28.

The Journal reported that the announcement “stunned” Deloitte partners and that it came as a “complete shock.” The newspaper reported, “The rationale wasn’t made clear, and dozens of partners, unhappy the firm didn’t provide an explanation, sent a letter to Deloitte’s board demanding more information and transparency on the matter.”

Deloitte did not comment, saying it will provide an update when the firm has its formal leadership election in early 2019. Engelbert also did not provide the Journal with a comment.

Engelbert, who has been with the company since 1986, was named CEO in 2015. She ran the audit practice prior to becoming CEO.

The Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that some are concerned that the move signifies a shift in focus toward consulting and away from auditing. One person “familiar with Deloitte’s CEO election process,” told the Journal that the situation “certainly isn’t just normal succession.”

Engelbert possibly could be renominated for a second term at a later phase of Deloitte’s CEO-election process. A candidate recommended by the board must be approved by two-thirds of Deloitte’s voting partners and principals. Her current term ends next spring.

Since Deloitte named Engelbert CEO, KPMG named Lynne Doughtie as chairwoman and CEO in 2015. At Ernst & Young, Kelly Grier became chairwoman and managing partner July 1.

Berry Appleman & Leiden and Deloitte UK to Form Alliance to Deliver World’s First Global Immigration Service

Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) LLP one of the world’s largest immigration law firms, announced a first-of-its-kind strategic alliance with Deloitte UK. The alliance represents an industry-first offering, combining the best of Deloitte’s scale, expertise and breadth outside of the U.S. with BAL’s legal expertise and high-quality immigration services in the U.S.

In an increasingly complex environment, today’s multinational businesses are struggling to gain the right level of market insights, make the most of big data and integrate their mobility services to advance their immigration programs. It can be particularly tough to find service providers with large enough footprints to effectively address global challenges and to stay ahead of ever-increasing requirements for secure, innovative technologies. This alliance addresses those needs, bringing BAL’s technology and innovation leadership together with the global acumen and scale of Deloitte Global. It gives multinational organizations the global perspectives and footprint and continuous innovation they need to stay ahead in today’s rapidly-changing immigration market.

“Immigration is now a C-Suite priority and the landscape is more complex than ever before. Today’s global businesses need innovative thinking, global scale and deep expertise,” says Jeremy Fudge, BAL MP. “We’re offering clients the very best of two leading organizations, delivering a level of expertise, scale, control and accountability they can’t get anywhere else.”

BAL’s global clients can continue to expect the high-level of technology innovation reflected in products like BAL’s Cobalt® digital immigration services platform, top-notch information security and unmatched immigration expertise they’ve come to know. When served through this alliance, BAL clients will now experience the added benefit of:

  • A centralized view to stay ahead: Addressing the need for increased business integration, multinational companies can now get a combined, broader view of their global immigration programs – from tax to mobility to immigration services and beyond. This alliance gives companies what they need to ensure global alignment across their business.
  • Quality and scale: The alliance gives global businesses access to the worldwide scale of Deloitte Global combined with BAL’s deep immigration expertise – all with a globally consistent quality and database.
  • Technology and security leadership: This alliance leverages the deep technology capabilities of two leading innovators to set a new benchmark for top-notch security solutions, and open the door to new possibilities in artificial intelligence, data analytics and other promising digital technologies.

“With the increased need for cross-border business travel, global organizations are recognizing the value of a firm that can bring a global footprint to help support the challenges of delivery and corporate compliance,” says Kalvinder Dhillon, Deloitte Global Immigration Lead. “Our ability to provide a fully global, end-to-end service will help employers move talent where it’s needed and enhance their compliance.”

Under this alliance, BAL will remain an independent entity in the U.S. Deloitte Global will acquire BAL’s non-U.S. operations and assets in the U.K., Singapore, Australia, Dubai, China, South Africa, Mozambique and Brazil.

Deloitte Blockchain Leader Leaves to Build Ethereum Supply Chain

Eric Piscini

Eric Piscini

Eric Piscini, who helped turn Deloitte’s global blockchain practice into a $50 million operation, left the company earlier this year, Forbes reported.

Piscini, who is credited with growing the firm’s blockchain team from three people in 2012 to 1,200, has joined Citizens Reserve, which is raising $150 million to move the world’s fragmented supply chain networks to two blockchains.

Citizens Reserve, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based startup, is creating a software bridge that connects the public Ethereum blockchain to a permissioned blockchain called Quorum, which was originally designed by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“It is this combination of the public blockchain infrastructure that powers the $66 billion Ethereum cryptocurrency, with a private solution designed to help JPMorgan and others comply with regulatory restrictions, that Piscini thinks is primed to make supply chain the next big industry to be disrupted by the technology,” Forbes reported.

“We are building the Ethereum of supply chain,” Piscini told Forbes. Piscini has helped grow the company from eight employees when he was brought on board to 18 employees today.

Citizens Reserve is a shared database designed to be used by every level of a supply chain including suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Read more.

Deloitte to Collaborate with Amazon on IoT Analytics

Deloitte Consulting, affiliate of New York-based Deloitte (FY16 net revenue of $17.5 billion), is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Internet of Things (IoT) analytics solutions focused on tracking an organization’s most important assets. These solutions can help clients mitigate supply chain complexity, costs and potential risks by using AWS technologies to analyze large amounts of asset location data.

Additionally, the solutions will utilize public application programming interfaces that can alert clients to other conditions that may impact assets as they move through the supply chain, such as weather, recall history and even sales tax jurisdictions.

“One of the biggest challenges in managing distributed assets is managing the data,” says Adam Mussomeli, principal, Deloitte Consulting. “Deloitte and AWS will now be able to help clients mitigate supply chain complexity, cost, and potential risk by enabling data collection and analysis on a worldwide scale.”

Deloitte Hosts National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge

New York-based Deloitte (FY16 net revenue of $17.5 billion) and the Deloitte Foundation hosted the 2018 National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge (AICC) at Deloitte University, awarding students of the University of Arizona first place for its idea to develop and use a proprietary artificial intelligence application to conduct audits of corporate sustainability reports.

Guided by faculty advisors and Deloitte subject matter leaders, students were challenged to find new ways to bring audit and assurance services to the marketplace using technology. Student teams from 52 colleges and universities participated in the event, with 12 teams advancing to the final round.

“The nature of many professions is rapidly shifting. Technology, innovation and process improvement continues to disrupt and redefine the way an audit is conducted at an unprecedented rate,” says Erin Shannon, managing director, change management.

“It’s our people, however, that are our most valuable resource and it is critically important that the next-generation of talent possess proficiency with emerging technologies and data analytics, as well as help bring new innovative solutions to stakeholders,” says Shannon. “This competition provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and creativity to real challenges facing today’s auditors and this year’s winners showed innovative thinking.”

The University of Arizona team’s winning submission focused on a recommendation to enter the market of auditing corporate sustainability reports in anticipation of potential regulatory guidance in the coming years. The submission cited Deloitte’s position to conduct a sustainability audit and introduced an artificial intelligence tool, “Deloitte Danni,” that could help auditors measure an array of environmental metrics and compare those readings to sustainability guidance.

“The Deloitte Foundation’s approach to helping prepare students for careers is twofold,” says Erin Scanlon, audit and assurance partner and Deloitte Foundation board member. “In addition to initiatives like the ground-breaking AICC that engage students, longstanding programs such as the Trueblood seminars provide educators with insights and rich case examples they can bring to the classroom to help develop students’ technical, research and critical thinking skills, and help better prepare the next generation of leaders.”

Deloitte Publishes Equity Partner Gender Earnings Gap

New York-based Deloitte (FY16 net revenue of $17.5 billion) published its equity partner gender earnings gap. The mean equity partner gender pay gap is 13.8% which arises because there are fewer women in senior equity partner positions.

“Deloitte has been at the forefront of gender pay reporting and a vocal advocate of the government’s equalities office campaign. We are firmly committed to transparency and achieving consistency in gender pay reporting standards. This is why we have listened to the calls for firms such as ours to do more in how we report gender pay data. Our role in society means we have a responsibility to lead on critical issues such as inclusion and diversity. Going forward, we commit not only to publishing the data required by the gender pay legislation, but also to publishing our gender earnings gap on an annual basis,” says David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte U.K.

“As with our formal gender pay and bonus gap reports, these calculations again serve as a stark reminder that we don’t have enough women in senior roles – this is not about unequal pay but the shape of our firm. We’ve worked hard in recent years to address this imbalance: we believe that culture has a clear role to play in correcting gender imbalance and over the past four years have placed additional focus on ensuring that we always provide an inclusive culture underpinned by respect that enables women to progress alongside commitments outside the workplace,” says Emma Codd, MP for talent at Deloitte U.K.

“We have focused on actions relating to ‘pain points’ in our career lifecycle – from how we recruit to the way in which we identify and develop women for our most senior roles. Amongst other things, we have adapted our recruitments processes; established an industry-first ‘Return to Work’ internship program that to-date has enabled 37 women to re-enter the workplace; introduced transition coaching for primary careers returning from parental and maternity leave; created sponsorship programs for female senior managers and directors, and ensured that we are focusing hard on female talent pipelines for our director and partner roles. We’re now recruiting more women at both student and experienced hire level, and are seeing a significant increase in the number of women choosing to stay with us at the points when we previously saw increased attrition for them. And the proportion of our partners who are female has increased from 12% in 2012 to 19% in 2017 against a published target of 25% by 2020 which we remain committed to meeting,” says Codd.

Deloitte CEO Says Women in Top Roles Should Move From ‘Novelty to Norm’

Cathy Engelbert

Cathy Engelbert

Deloitte’s Cathy Engelbert, the first woman to become a CEO of a U.S. Big 4 accounting firm in 2015, knew that taking on the top job was a big deal for her personally. “What I didn’t realize was what a big deal it was outside the firm to get this role. It’s been great to show that women can be leaders of big companies.”

During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Engelbert recently spoke with Global Goalscast, a podcast of the We Are All Human Foundation, which promotes diversity, “radical inclusion” and equity. In an interview with co-host Edie Lush, Engelbert says she’s now accustomed to talking about cracking the glass ceiling, but adds, “I talk about how we need to move these elevations of women into key roles from novelty to norm. I think it’s really important to focus on that.”

In September 2016, Engelbert changed Deloitte’s leave policy to help both men and women take time off for family matters. “Our family leave program we think is industry-leading. Sixteen weeks for men and women, not just for parental leave, but for any family matters. It’s been amazingly positive,” Engelbert says. “Our people are fired up. The best email I got was from a man who said ‘I hope I never have to use it for a sick parent or a sick child but if gives me peace of mind that it’s there.’ We did something that was right for our people.” She told Lush that the move has helped Deloitte retain and recruit talent.

Engelbert also discussed the need to partner with Apple, Amazon, Facebook, HP and other emerging companies to help serve clients in an innovative way, saying, “No one company can do it alone in this fast-paced industrial revolution.”

She continues, “The hardest part about being a CEO today, I think, is there are so many shifts going on, Where do you deploy your capital? What choices to do you make? What impact do you want to have? Then, you have to bring in the fact with a 62% millennial workforce, our people want purpose driven in everything we do. And you’ve got to take care of well-being. So, it’s a fascinating time to be a leader and make these choices in how, again, you allocate not only your human capital, your financial capital, but your own time as a CEO.”

Engelbert also has some advice for up-and-coming female leaders. “Your career is not linear, it changes. You need to raise your hand and have confidence and take risks. When you don’t want to do something, you have to have what you want to do right behind it. The leader that thinks of you for positions wants to know you’re helping solve another problem they might have.”

View the full interview. 

Deloitte Follows Competitors Into Legal Market in UK

Deloitte is expanding its legal services offering in the UK, following similar moves by PwC, KPMG and EY to edge in on the territory of traditional law firms, The Financial Times of London reported.

“There is room [in the market] for a lot of players and our competitors in the Big 4 are already operating in this space,” said Matt Ellis, managing partner for tax and legal at Deloitte, according to the newspaper.

The Big 4’s legal divisions are already larger than most law firms, but the profession’s leading law firms earn much more. The Financial Times noted that Latham & Watkins in the U.S., for example, had revenues of $2.8 billion in 2016, while PwC earned $500 million from legal services in the same year, and Deloitte earned $250 million.

As part of its plan, Deloitte is applying for an alternative business structure license, introduced as part of the 2007 Legal Services Act, which allowed non-lawyers to own and run legal services.

Deloitte is expected to focus on using technology to speed up routine legal work. “We’re planning to use our technology and advisory skills to transform legal services and help address many of the challenges lawyers . . . are facing in today’s increasingly complex legal environment,” Ellis said. Although he added that Deloitte was not seeking to replicate a traditional law firm, he acknowledged that its legal offering “may threaten some players.”

Several observers said that the Big 4 may be interested in a mid-tier law firm if it ran into financial trouble. Lee Ranson, co-chief executive of law firm Eversheds Sutherland, predicted that at least one of the Big 4 would make such a takeover move in the next three years. “In a significant number of areas and geographies, they are already our competitors,” he added.