Tag Archives: machine learning
Digital Detox Day

Digital Disruptors in Global Mobility

Rapid changes influence the traditional workforce in digital market trends, technology advancements, and connectivity. New attitudes toward work and careers evolve from the connected workforce generation. Disruptive technology already affects long-standing business models and established companies in all business areas.

“Disruptive technology,” coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in 1995, is defined as “ when a new business model attracts an under-serviced market or revenue stream and grows until it supplants incumbent competitors. Technologies are not in themselves disruptive, but their application in a new business model can be” (Christensen subsequently refers to the same concept as “disruptive innovation”).

Have you recently faced increased pressure to adapt the way you work to the new digital market trends and the advancements in technology and connectivity? 

Organizations focus exponentially on digitization (moving to more digital formats) and digitalization (strategically shifting to digital processes and activities) of the mobility function. 

This article will explore a new set of emergent challenges your Global Mobility team will have to overcome if you want your company to remain competitive in the face of the digital disruptors that influence the sector.

As changes in the business ecosystem happen faster than ever, the most successful organizations in the future will be those that can keep up with the evolving business environment. So if you’re wondering HOW your company can achieve this, embracing digital know-how and creativity is the answer.

One of the biggest challenges of Global Mobility will be to bring digital innovation to the core of company business models, evaluating how the technology available today can augment the human workforce. 

You should be particularly aware of digital innovation’s impact on Global Mobility. I picked the four areas that, according to Deloitte, are likely to have the most consequences in the short-term future. 

 

Digital Innovation and Disruptors

Global Mobility functions will undoubtedly face increased pressure to change how they work. As changes in the business ecosystem happen faster than ever, the most successful businesses in the future will be the ones that can adapt to the evolving business environment, embracing additional skills, including entrepreneurship, problem-solving, and especially digital know-how and creativity.

One of Global Mobility’s most significant challenges will be bringing digital innovation to the core of company business models and evaluating how today’s technology can augment their human workforce.

Analyzing the impact of digital innovation in the field, the six areas which will likely have more effect on Global Mobility in the short term are automation, the gig economy, workplace tools, and artificial intelligence.

 

#1 Automation

Often considered the most prevalent and accessible disruptive technology (Robb et al., 2017a), robotics will be a key asset for mobility functions in the future. Mobility functions are already experiencing success where this technology is implemented to perform tasks that humans would normally be assigned to. Examples include sending routine emails or copying and pasting information from public or private sources. In turn, workers can be repurposed to high-value tasks to benefit the mobility function.

By adopting and introducing those techniques into existing processes, Global Mobility teams will be able to focus on diminishing costs, increase productivity by improving operational efficiency, and retain talent. In fact, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology is already being used to speed up administrative/transactional processes in mobility functions. Equally important is that automation can also reveal itself crucial in reducing hierarchical thinking.

Teams will need to ensure that workers are given the opportunity to learn and upskill as the ubiquity of technology increases. 

While embracing this new way of thinking, Global Mobility teams must remember the importance of maintaining the human touch. This will allow mobility functions to make a genuine asset out of robotics and automation software in the near future. 

#2 Gig Economy

Several factors favor the growing popularity of the gig economy, among which an increased number of Millenials on the job market, a greater acceptance of technology, and advanced network infrastructures combined with the organizations’ growing demand for a more fluid talent pool. In an era in which technology continues to disrupt business models across sectors, the flexibility and agility typical of the gig workforce become very appealing features for businesses wanting to promote innovation and reduce costs.

The Great Resignation has also contributed to filling the gig workers’ pool, which doesn’t mean the talent shortage in certain industries is about to resorb. Indeed, the flexibility offered by independent work has become a critical advantage for many workers; for some, it is a determining factor when looking for a job. Since this liberty is not always possible in traditional work settings, employers who won’t or can’t offer this will have more difficulty filling their openings.

In the Global Mobility arena, crowdsourcing is gaining momentum. Also known as silent offshoring or workforce-on-demand, crowdsourcing is an evolution of outsourcing models and shared services. It is bound to play a fundamental role in the future of Global Mobility. There are always more employers who turn to that less conventional resource; Ernst & Young now has its own GIG NOW platform for freelancers to apply to a myriad of projects.

In these times, for Global Mobility to perform successfully, it is essential to develop and implement a varied policy suite that meets the needs of a diverse workforce (e.g., gig workers, freelancers, business travelers) and their alternative working practices (Robb et al., 2017b).

#3 Workplace tools 

Core office technologies such as telephone, word processing, and email have already evolved to expand the possibilities of connected and collaborative working. Employees can now access the latest information, join video conferences, share and work on the same documents or workspace at their convenience from a device and location of their choice. 

The next generation of workplace tools will allow more collaboration, training, and learning opportunities. It will also enable business leaders to deliver a better experience to their teams and assignees. Even more importantly, new ‘digital learning’ means that organizations will be able to transform what is tricky stuff in life into something fun. For instance, organizations could use augmented and Virtual  Reality (AR and VR, respectively) to transform the employee’s onboarding experience or allow them to meet and  collaborate with colleagues in other countries. Additionally, it can be used to virtually recreate cities to immerse oneself in the new environment before deciding to move there.

#4 IT Security vs. Collaboration

Companies have always needed to worry about security, privacy, and compliance, but digital disruption has significantly increased risk in all those areas; thus, risk management becomes constantly complex. To keep on top, one must be reactive and agile since everything evolves quickly in that domain. Resorting to outside help (i.e., gig workers) means more open access to your network. Collaboration means your network is more vulnerable. Businesses can’t wait for governments and other regulating bodies to legislate on ever-evolving risk and security conditions and keep a compliance-based security strategy: they must be proactive. Otherwise, they would always lag, which could potentially be a great danger for their employees, clients, and the company itself. User privacy and data protection must be upheld against cyber threats to protect your company, its reputation, and everyone involved. It is crucial that the human remains at the forefront of security preoccupations.

#5 Artificial Intelligence (AI)

By using smart devices to predict, detect and prevent risks in moving people around the globe, AI is already helping organizations go beyond traditional ways of managing the global workforce. With the massive increase in the data volume available to organizations, the emergence of advanced AI-based algorithms, and the growing availability of data scientists, systems are becoming increasingly self-managing and potentially self-defending against risks.  

#6 Cognitive technologies 

Algorithms, robotic process automation, machine learning and natural language processing are already being tested to improve and train existing tax research and GM deployment tools.  These tools are complex, and the real-life cases of expats even more so; we cannot rely solely on algorithms and machine learning to administer and manage processes that have a major impact on real human lives Only by using them to execute tasks for efficiency’s sake and ensuring that they are well balanced with human checks and balances, the combination of AI and Humans may provide an appealing scenario for the future. 

Many organizations have focused more than ever on both digitization (moving to more digital formats) and digitalization (strategically shifting to digital processes and activities) of the mobility function. As a result, companies’ engagement levels depend on how “digitally mature” their global mobility programs already are. Some might be just  ‘exploring digital,’ while others might be already ‘becoming digital.’ 

But keep the HUMAN TOUCH in mind and ensure that the combination of AI and Human Global Mobility Managers are well balanced.

Be under no illusion; the digital mobility age is upon us. That doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of it, but we must be careful and rein it to ensure we all stay on the path to Human Touch. 

Our team is creating the RockMeApp to facilitate private communication with coaching clients and streamline certain aspects of the coaching process. To get in touch with us, please schedule an introductory call here.

 

Further Reading:

https://www.persuasion.community/p/why-ai-will-never-rival-human-creativity

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/bringing-the-human-touch-back-in-the-impending-age-of-ai-and-digitization/

 

References

Deloitte. (2018). “Global Workforce Insight 2019: Assessing the predicted 2018 global mobility trends and their continued impact in 2019”. Deloitte.  https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ch/Documents/tax/deloitte-ch-Back-to-the-future-global-workforce.pdf

Deloitte. (2017).Global Human Capital Trends: Rewriting the rules for the digital age.” Deloitte, University Press. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/central-europe/ce-global-human-capital-trends.pdf

Deloitte. Robb, A., Frewin, K. and Jagger, P. (2017a). (2017) “The Impact of the Digital Age on Global Mobility 2017 Global Workforce Trends.” https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/tax/deloitte-uk-global-mobility-trends-latest.PDF 

Robb, A., Frewin, K. and Jagger, P. (2017b). “Global Workforce: Digital Innovation in Mobility.” Deloitte. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/tax/deloitte-uk-digital-innovation-in-mobility.pdf 

TechTarget (Gavin Wright for), disruptive technology (disruptive innovation) entry, https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/disruptive-technology, accessed on 5 April 2023.