CoE: Helping Companies Navigate Through Change

Indranil Roy

In collaboration with the Economic Development Board, global consultancy Deloitte established the Future of Work Centre of Excellence in (CoE) Singapore in August last year to prepare companies and their employees for market disruptions. The initiative is designed to run for three years.

Deloitte Southeast Asia Future of Work Lead Indranil Roy shared that the Future of Work CoE is performing way ahead of its targets.

He said: “There are about 20 people in the Future of Work CoE here, and 200 clients and professionals around the world who are connected to this service. The number of solutions we have been able to take to market are double digit.”

What can you get from Future of Work CoE?

Bosses who need to get future-ready can tap on the centre for technologies, data, algorithms, methodologies, playbooks, learning journeys, training and advisory.

In terms of research & development (R&D), Indranil said that the centre focuses on “more D than R”. It builds solution prototypes, as well as tests and develops them for clients.

“So far, our business model is [customising solutions] client by client. We do have a longer-term goal to create platforms that can be accessed by anybody. We have tested a few things, which we call ‘product as platform’, but we haven’t really launched anything yet,” added Indranil.

What problems are businesses looking to solve?

Future of Work CoE’s clients spread across a wide spectrum of industries but most of them are from financial services and telecommunications. Consumer goods, manufacturing, and power and energy follow closely behind.

Clients typically go to Future of Work CoE with these objectives in mind:

  • Increase speed

“They want to move 10 times faster than they are moving right now because things are changing so fast.”

  • Be agile

“It’s the ability to change the course of their strategy quickly without falling apart – nimbleness.”

  • Increase staff excitement

“The future of work usually sounds like a horror movie, like jobs are going to be taken away. They want to send a more positive message, get their staff engaged and enthusiastic, and attract young talents out there.”

  • Cut cost

“Cost of processes that don’t really add value to customers such as bureaucracy. We have become so used to organisations with layers and layers of people who don’t do anything but watch over others.”

How does Future of Work CoE tackle them?

While companies can see tangible results after one to two years, Indranil said that “business transformation is something that does not have an end point as the frontiers of what is possible continue to shift”.

They are also constantly upgrading their capabilities to keep up. Future of Work CoE currently has a team of data scientists, developers, marketers, consultants and experience designers.

  • Mindset change

“We inculcate a ‘leaders as founders’ mindset in the management, so they operate like startups. There no ‘I’m the boss’ and you do what I say. They have that curiosity and think about how they can truly add value to customers.”

  • Technology augmentation

“It’s an exciting time. With artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, employees don’t have to spend majority of their day doing mind-numbing tasks. We know of organisational models that guide you to build autonomous teams that don’t need a lot of supervision.

“We show firms how they can have a workforce augmented by technology and for leaders and workers who can’t make the shift to digital, how they can be advisors and put the important organisational or technical knowledge they possess into good use.”

  • Flexible and motivated workforce

“There are people who want to embark on things that deviate from social norms and what we are taught in school. We need to be encouraging and supportive of their natural motivations and incentivise that level of adaptability.

“Companies are getting more flexible in hiring too. Some come to us wanting to tap on freelancers, others simply ask us what workforce mix they should have and what type of employee is needed for different functions.”

 Good to Know

Companies who are interested in Deloitte’s Future of Work CoE, they can reach Nicole Scoble-Williams at They can also read more about the future of work here.


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