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"Agility and flexibility have always been key elements of our consultant’s DNA"

This week, we met with Patrick Laurent (Lead Partner, Technology) and Charles Delancray (Director, Technology) to discuss Deloitte's "ICT Strategic Advisor of the Year" price won during the Luxembourg ICT Awards ceremony, last December.

Can you tell us about your biggest achievements of 2017?

CIOs have many assets under their control: from applications to infrastructure, solution sourcing to managing the end-user experience, planning and demand management to project and financial management. The corresponding responsibility to deliver critical services on a continuous duration is tremendous, and our clients trust us to assist them with the design, delivery, and maintenance of their most sensitive platforms.

Our Luxembourg office helps banks in core system replacement advisory and implementation (Temenos, Avaloq and ERI bancaire solutions) in Luxembourg and abroad. We advise insurers on ICT strategy and enterprise data warehouse implementation, including major platform overhauls. Services to EU institutions and Luxembourg government include enterprise architecture (EA) definition based on ARIS solutions, web portal and data analytics, as well as strategic projects to provide new services to citizens, while in the TMT sector, we provide digital strategy advisory and implementation.

 

How important has agility, flexibility and the ability to provide tailored solutions become for your company?

Agility and flexibility have always been key elements of our consultant’s DNA. However, as technology advisers, a remarkable change that occurred over that past few years is the exponential growth of technology providers coupled with an intensification of regulation.

As a consequence, our clients are requesting assistance to gain clarity in this complex and dynamic landscape to identify the right partners and providers. We therefore aim to set up teams very quickly that bring all the required skills specialized in a given industry. This ability, combined with our knowledge and watch capabilities, makes us able to provide fast and sound advice on every aspect on a provider, such as whether they fit with requirements, are compliant with regulations, have financial solidity, or possess the right architecture.

 

What are the main emerging technology trends your team keeps a close eye on?

We follow four main emerging technology trends: 1) RPA and RCA; 2) Big Data and advanced analytics; 3) a move toward cloud in the FSI world; and 4) blockchain.

Considering first RPA, Deloitte’s robotic process automation (RPA) solution helps organizations to improve the effectiveness of their business, by automating and optimizing their operational processes. Our team of robotics experts work hand-in-hand with our clients to implement robotic solutions that enable their organization to fully automate repeatable, manual, and rule-based tasks across operational departments or back offices. As RPA robots perform routine processes by mimicking the actions a human would perform when interacting with the applications, every sector could identify a good candidate for robotization.

Our clients require assistance from Deloitte to set up robotic capabilities, identify automation opportunities, and create the virtual workforce that will collaborate with the employees.

Secondly, with respect to Big Data and advanced analytics, the power of data is in its interpretation. We work with organizations across a wide range of industries, in critical parts of their business, to empower data through analytics. Analytics is about applying machine learning, predictive modelling, statistics, and advanced visualization to datasets with techniques such as predictive modelling, machine learning, pattern recognition, and text mining in order to gain actionable insights.

The analytics journey is of course not limited to internal/classical operational data and can be extended to other types of data. With the volume of data available, both internally and externally, organizations can easily get caught up in the processing of data analysis and lose sight of improving the decision-making process. We are able to support our clients in their transformation into an insight-driven organization, which puts analytics as a core activity to support decision-making.

Turning to cloud, this has become a pervasive technology delivery model, and enterprises in all industries have started to embrace it, whether it is private or public cloud, SaaS or IaaS.

In FSI, the trend is also accelerating, and the 2017 CSSF circular on “cloud outsourcing” is now further accelerating this trend. Full-scale cloud is not common for enterprises, and multi-cloud environments are becoming the norm.

Taking the leap to pervasive cloud services is not a simple journey but one that requires careful consideration and planning to be successful and beneficial for the organization. The potential benefits are significant; hence, each organization should start planning for this new technology service delivery paradigm.

Finally, blockchain, distributed ledger technology, and crypto-tokens are in exponential growth. Distributed ledger technology offers a new way to share and store value and information—including money, asset property, or even identity—in a secure and efficient way. It also has the potential to disrupt whole areas of various industries by enabling new business and operation to the extent of allowing disintermediation of incumbent actors. Blockchain also enables new ways of raising money to fund new projects and startups through Initial Coin Offerings. At Deloitte, we are active in this area on various aspects such as helping startups define their business cases and plans, and structure themselves from a legal, tax, regulatory, and operational perspective. We also support our clients in analyzing the opportunities and threats of the technology, as well as design and develop proofs-of-concept and blockchain-based solutions. We develop our own software prototypes that are accelerators to our clients’ projects. We also support the emergence of ICO undertakings and crypto-funds.