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The skills gap is a lead weight chained to the legs of the British economy. It has long been a problem, but in the shallow waters of the EU swimming pool, it has at least been more or less manageable, at least with a little migrant help. Trouble is, the UK is preparing to perform a deep dive into a very cold and deep sea, one with a global eco-storm clearly visible on the horizon.


11-Sep-2019

PwC

Women in Work Index 2019

Turning policies into effective action to advance gender equality.


A potential revolution for the utilities industry is being led by advancements in smart home technology, real time data becoming available and evolving customer expectations. In a sector that is becoming increasingly digital, distributed and personalised, the door is wide open for truly innovative companies.


Supply chain planners should set up a distinct S&OE process to better execute on S&OP plans and optimise costs..


It feels like a time when we need some foresight, foresight as to what our World might become, should become. We all have an opportunity – I’d say a responsibility – to dig deep, to search for innovative solutions, inspire good growth, economic prosperity, stronger communities, healthier people and greater social mobility.



• Cybersecurity work (US$16.5bn) now accounts for a quarter of the total market
• Environmental risk moves up the corporate agenda
• US risk services market hits US$35.1bn

The global risk services consulting market grew by 7.7% to reach a value of US$65.9bn in 2018 as companies turned to risk specialists to help them work out what steps they need to take to best manage emerging and sometimes hard to define risks. Behind this market wide growth is a rising demand across a whole spectrum of risk services, with cybersecurity work now accounting for a quarter of the total market – growing faster than every other service line – but effectively cannibalising many other traditional areas of risk service provision. Other fast-growing areas include the much smaller risk transformation service line, and third-party assurance services. These findings are published today (11th September 2019) in a new report, The Risk Services Market in 2019, from Source Global Research, the leading research and strategy firm for the global professional services industry. The report also found that risks relating to sustainability and the environment are moving up the corporate agenda, thanks to headline-grabbing issues, increased legislation, and the fear of reputational damage resulting from a failure to adopt an environmentally aware approach. The impact of climate change is also leading to the development of new areas of risk management as clients seek support to develop strategies in the face of increased risks such as fire, flood, and drought. In terms of the fastest growing markets within the global top 10, the huge US market performed well in 2018, with an 8.3% uptick in work to US$35.1bn. Also, rapid economic modernisation in China, and clients eager to participate in global markets, meant another year of strong growth (up 9.6%). Nick Allan, CEO of Control Risks, who was interviewed for the Source report, said:
“The financial crisis killed a lot of environmental initiatives, but we're now seeing governments really respond to this in quite a meaningful way. The Chinese government is really responding to the environmental concerns of their citizens. They're trying to clean up pollution, and a lot of environmental technologies are being deployed in China.” Automation is also changing the way that risk services are managed, by cutting out manual processes and removing the potential for error. However, the Source report points out that many clients are only just waking up to the possibilities: take-up could accelerate as more use cases are developed. Zoë Stumpf, Head of Market Trends at Source Global Research, added:

“Risk services providers are having to change the way they operate, considering how far they want to go in terms of digitising services and the best way to achieve this. This automation of services is also starting to impact a number of different facets of service provision, changing the traditional pricing model and the type of talent needed, as well as boosting interest in the development of managed services and assets.”
The more heavily regulated sectors are those seeing the biggest uptick in risk services demand. Financial services work dominates, generating over a third of all risk service revenues, with demand growing 9.3% in 2018. The much smaller pharma market grew more than 12% in 2018, with healthcare not far behind. Source Global Research estimates that the global risk services market will continue to grow strongly next year, with the market expected to increase by around 10% to the end of 2020—an even higher rate of growth than in the recent past. For more information on Source reports contact ella-sian.jolley@sourceglobalresearch.com, telephone +44 (0)20 3478 1204, or visit www.sourceglobalresearch.com. .



• But the Big Four remain the go-to choice for clients
• Eighty percent of audit clients rate quality of audits as either “high” or “very high” despite numerous accounting scandals
• But over a fifth (22%) would choose either BDO or Grant Thornton

Although over two-thirds (68%) of audit clients still rank a Big Four firm as their first-choice external auditor, over half (58%) do not name their current auditor as their first choice. Despite this, large, listed companies are still not prepared to change their incumbent auditor. This data is revealed in a report published today (9 September 2019), which also found that despite recent press coverage about the quality of audits, clients think very highly of the quality of audit work, with 80% rating it as either “high” or “very high” quality. At the same time though, over a fifth (22%) of audit clients would choose either BDO or Grant Thornton, confirming that these two firms are the leading choices outside of the Big Four and are the mid-tier firms best placed to capture some market share from them. The report, published today by Source Global Research, surveyed CEOs, CFOs, and senior finance executives from large organisations in the US (66%) and UK (34%), all of whom have been responsible for selecting external auditors or have worked with external auditors during the audit process. The Source report highlights two key factors benefiting the incumbent auditor and restricting more supplier churn in the audit market: Knowledge is key – Audit clients state that the two most influential factors when choosing a new auditor are knowledge of the sector and the extent to which the auditor knows/understands their business. The current auditor is clearly already going to have a lot of firm-specific knowledge and, as a result, knowledge of the sector. This makes it difficult for an alternative firm to convince prospects that it can offer something extra in these important areas. Complex stakeholder landscapes create inertia – This benefits the incumbent as audit committees need to be won over and it may be hard to convince committee members to change auditors, especially where there aren’t any obvious problems with the current relationship. For listed companies, shareholders will need to approve a change in auditor as well, and will need to hear a strong argument to explain why a change is necessary. Martin White, a Senior Analyst at Source Global Research, said:
“It takes a lot of political capital for decision makers in companies to push through a change of auditor, and that may act as a block even when there is some dissatisfaction with the existing auditor. Our research also shows that there could be an opportunity for BDO and Grant Thornton to pick up much more work if clients have a positive experience of working with BDO or Grant Thornton for advisory work, or through joint audits and audit firm rotation. This could mean that more clients may trust them to provide a high-quality audit and lean towards them as their first-choice auditor.” Conflicts of interest
The Source report also revealed that audit clients don’t seem overly concerned by potential conflicts of interest. In fact, the majority of respondents only think auditors should raise awareness of other services during the audit or six months before retendering. Only 2% of clients think an audit firm should never talk about other services it offers. Martin White from Source concluded:
“With mandatory audit rotation looming, the firm that can successfully raise awareness of its other services stands to gain not just revenues, but perhaps even deepened relationships with its clients. Ultimately though, we feel that innovative uses of technology may turn out to be a driver of change by allowing firms to differentiate themselves and demonstrate the possible improvements a new auditor could bring.” For more information on Source reports contact ella-sian.jolley@sourceglobalresearch.com, telephone +44 (0)20 3478 1204, or visit www.sourceglobalresearch.com. .


IBM Research labs are part of a tradition where large tech companies had extensive research labs. IBM Research, along with the original Bell labs and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), have developed many innovations.


NEXTDC stands out for its technological sophistication in design and engineering pertaining to power quality, back-up power, and mechanical cooling LONDON, .


The human race is the most complicated; and difficult system and every human has a different personality of action. Using the same tone and the same language does not fit in order to communicate with different people. However, it is usual for us to use different tones and languages while we communicate with our friends and other people but it is impossible for the machines to have different personas for different people until now.


04-Sep-2019

Wood Mackenzie Ltd

Will Aluminium Cans Replace Plastic Bottles?

Plastic pollution is a global problem. The statistics are alarming – and emotive. However, it remains the modern world’s packaging material of choice. Roughly a third of the 350 Mt produced globally is used in packaging applications. But as public perception shifts and the issue gets pushed up the political agenda, the tide could be turning.


Reflecting the potentially vulnerable state of the property market as Brexit looms, KPMG said house prices would fall by between 5.4% and 7.5% across different regions next year if a new agreement with Brussels was not in place by 31 October.


IBM will begin offering quantum-safe cryptography services on its public cloud beginning next year in a move toward bolstering the security of data and privacy from fault-tolerant quantum computers.


The tech arm of business advisory firm KPMG is to take 100 digital specialist staff to 12,000 sq ft at Manchester Science Partnership’s Manchester Technology Centre campus .


The magnitude of change that enterprise IT is going through (architecture, cloud infra and SaaS) brings for security models is vastly underestimated. There is an entire generation of multi-billion dollar security companies that have a largely on-premise business not particularly relevant to the cloud/hybrid world....


Fears about an economic downturn in the US have been waxing and waning for many months now, but growing disquiet is now being fuelled by some hard facts, with a slowdown in GDP growth in the second quarter of 2019, and a recent troubling downwards revision of 2018’s growth rate, writes Zoë Stumpf of Source Global Research.


Large enterprises in particular will be operating multi-modal IT, i.e. elements of traditional IT, elements of cutting-edge digital, and elements of pretty much everything in between. So, how should organizations structure their information security management?.


Some folks say bigger is better. And sometimes that’s true. But not always. Take digital transformation, for instance. Many companies approach digital transformation as an all-or-nothing endeavor....


Just like last year, Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the “2019 Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools, Worldwide,” based on its completeness of vision and ability to execute in the UEM market.” Microsoft is also highest in the “Ability to Execute” axis.


“Staff augmentation” has long been a dirty phrase in consulting, redolent of stacking your consultants high and selling them cheap, writes Fiona Czerniawska of Source Global Research.


A perspective from Moorhouse Consulting: Insurers no longer ask whether they should digitally transform, they ask where to start and how to deliver the transformation.


Almost half (40%) of UK workers would consider working in a temporary, interim or contract position - citing a better lifestyle (47%), higher hourly pay (29%), more flexibility (26%) and exposure to new skills (19%) as the main drivers.


There‘s a lot of excitement about business automation these days and for good reason. Developments including artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation bring the promise of transforming work as we know it.


IBM announced that it will begin to provide, what the industry would call, quantum-safe cryptography services on the IBM public cloud in 2020 and is now offering a Quantum Risk Assessment from IBM Security to help customers assess their risk in the quantum world....


The internet of things and blockchain -- they should go together like strawberries and cream, right? What could make more sense than a constant stream of data about devices, their state, and their use, combined with a distributed and trustworthy mechanism for anyone to read or say things about the data?.


Artificial intelligence-enabled travel platform Travelport, IBM and travel management company BCD Travel are jointly developing a blockchain platform to streamline hotel commission reconciliation..


The Artificial Intelligence market is climbing towards its apex, with an estimated industry value of $3.7 billion by 2025. AI dominance will arrive before that; by 2020 AI will be found in almost all new software products and services. However, progress comes with challenges. Specifically, it is difficult to integrate AI in a way that helps the business become more profitable..


Imagine the challenge of owning warehouses of books and only a small fraction of them had titles. Yet, they all needed to be cataloged and stored correctly by content. This is the type of challenge confronting many chief data officers today and is not unlike a real-life dilemma that one CDO had to face....


Infosys is witnessing a jump in cloud-based services as it has partnered with large cloud providers such as Google Cloud, Amazon web services and Microsoft Azure to help clients move their applications from traditional IT infrastructure to the cloud. .


Microsoft announced this morning that it was acquiring jClarity, a service designed to tune the performance of Java applications. It will be doing that on Azure from now on. In addition, the company has been offering a flavor of Java called AdoptOpenJDK, which they bill as a free alternative to Oracle Java....


People from black, asian and ethnic minority backgrounds account for just 4% of the UK tech workforce, but degree apprenticeship programmes have the power and reach to increase diversity across the sector .


There has been at least one health data breach a day since 2016, with the clear majority in the first half of this year (59%) due to hacking. Insider error or wrongdoing contributed to 21% of the breaches, loss or theft to 9% and the remainder's causes were unknown.


There is no shortage of optimism about AI in the medical community. But many also caution the hype surrounding AI has yet to be realised in real clinical settings. There are also different visions for how AI services could make the biggest impact. And it’s still unclear whether AI will improve the lives of patients or just the bottom line for companies, health care organisations, and insurers..


The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ipcc) fires another warning shot about the state of the planet and the way people are transforming virtually every corner of every continent. Human activities affect roughly three-quarters of Earth’s ice-free land, with huge consequences for the climate....


A new patent application from IBM describes a blockchain-based web browser. Published on August 6 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, IBM’s patent is for a web browser backed by a peer-to-peer network..


London | KPMG has forced out the head of one of its core businesses in Britain after an investigation into his conduct involving messages sent on WhatsApp..


PwC's head of AR and VR, Jeremy Dalton, says that the augmented reality market will be larger in the long run than virtual reality.


In previous blogs, I’ve looked at why voice assistants are set to replace mobile touchscreens as the prime user interface within financial services (FS) and how this could transform the customer relationship model within the industry. So, what capabilities does your business need to make a success of the voice revolution? By Antti Niku, Senior Manager, Digital Transformation, PwC .


With speeds two to three times faster than high-speed rail and an on-demand experience, hyperloop can reduce a 300 km commute to under 20 minutes — smashing today’s traditional transportation boundaries. .


Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed the way we do business and our everyday lives. Virtual assistants, computer-aided diagnosis and clinical decision support are just a few examples of how artificial intelligence in healthcare has transformed the sector..


Global Client Principal The financial services industry has been undergoing a significant shift globally, and now in Australia following (among other things) the recent Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, and the introduction of a Consumer Data Right (CDR) in late 2017. .


Where’s My Flying Car? The Lowdown on Personal Flight.



- Hayne Royal Commission’s investigation drives risk & regulatory work for consultants
- Digital work now accounts for nearly 40% of all revenues...
Australia’s consulting market grew at its fastest rate in seven years in 2018, expanding 8.1% to US$5.4bn—a growth rate similar to the mighty US and DACH markets last year. The Australia consulting market has now grown by almost US$1bn in just three years. This strong market growth in 2018 owed a lot to growing interest in digitisation, with the share of Australia’s consulting work that can be described as digital rising to account for almost 40% of revenues in 2018. This data is published today (24th July 2019) in a new report, The Australia Consulting Market in 2019, from Source Global Research, the leading research and strategy firm for the global professional services industry. The report also reveals that Australia’s consultants enjoyed revenue growth across every sector in 2018, with the healthcare consulting market growing the fastest. There was also strong growth in the financial services sector as clients undertook regulatory reforms in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission’s investigation. Commenting on the strong growth in financial services, the largest sector for consultants in Australia, Zoë Stumpf, Head of Market Trends at Source Global Research, said:, “The Hayne Royal Commission has led to a huge amount of work among financial services clients who, faced with considerable criticism of their business practices, have been keen to work with consultants to put in place a more robust risk & regulatory framework. As well as compliance work, this is leading to widespread demand around governance and strengthened risk management approaches.” Public sector consulting market Despite all the election-related disruption and controversy, the Source report found that the Australia public sector consulting market grew 8.2%. Source says that now that the dust has settled on the election result, public sector consulting work is likely to continue to increase; perennial areas of need continue to drive demand, and the sector is seeing an uptick in digitisation and cybersecurity work. However, with spend on consulting now under the microscope, it’s likely that growth rates won’t be quite so high as in the last couple of years. Karthik Padmanabhan, ANZ Leader at Cognizant, said: “Government spending is pretty significant in Australia, and I think this will be a key influencing factor on the market in the near future.” The fastest-growing service lines were technology and risk & regulatory, though consultants in Australia saw a boost in demand across the board. Type A firms, dominated by the Big Four, represent the largest and fastest-growing firm type in Australia’s consulting market, thanks to client appreciation of their multi-specialist and end-to-end offerings. Technology firms continue to grow strongly, though encroachment by Type A and strategy firms means they’re not growing as fast as the technology service line. Despite 2018’s strong performance, Source says that Australia’s consultants report a creeping sense of anxiety, as a number of factors—including slowing GDP growth, a projected global economic slowdown, a contentious domestic political environment, and an increasingly uneasy relationship with China—mean that the market is a good deal more volatile than in years past. Zoë Stumpf from Source added: “The growth curve could start to slow a little, as clients balance the need to deal with new types of competition and embrace technology change against concerns about economic growth; indeed, clients are likely to proceed more cautiously with their change plans as a result. However, consultants need not despair, as there will still be plenty of good opportunities in this market; we expect to see growth of around 7% for 2019, with slightly slower growth forecast in 2020.” For more information on Source reports contact ella-sian.jolley@sourceglobalresearch.com, telephone +44 (0)20 3478 1204, or visit www.sourceglobalresearch.com. .


Big names dominate ratings but specialist consultancies also shine....


25-Jul-2019

PA Consulting Group

Use data to cut surgery waiting times

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is now carrying out hundreds more operations per year with the help of an innovative new scheduling tool we’ve developed to optimise the use of operating theatre time..


IBM Corp. has open-sourced three artificial intelligence projects focused on cancer research. .


AI and machine learning may not be a silver bullet, but they can still play an important part in cloud security strategies.


The majority of US workers (70%) said they hold a positive outlook on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, including chatbots, augmented reality (AR), and robots, according to Genesys's Workplace Attitudes to Artificial Intelligence report, released Wednesday.


Business advisory firm KPMG has partnered with tech companies Tomia, Microsoft and R3 to create a blockchain-based settlements solution for the telecom industry, in anticipation of 5G network services.


It’s not uncommon for business teams to become settled with their current tools and platforms. It’s easy to get a little too comfortable with how an organization usually works, and when a new tool, technology, and platform is introduced, it can be an uphill battle.


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