Deloitte SA Blog


Protecting privacy in the age of analytics

Privacy by designThe era of Big Data is here, and it isn’t going away. The ability to use data to connect information, identify patterns and personalise interactions for maximum business result has reached an extraordinary level of sophistication.

Put simply, today’s data analytics enables organisations to make connections, identify patterns, predict behaviour and personalise interactions to an extent that could scarcely be imagined just a decade ago.

And therein lies the problem.

Download Privacy by design

Organisations must be alert to threats of unauthorised access to data, especially personal data. More broadly, these risks can include reputational harm, legal action, regulatory sanctions, disruption of internal operation and weakened customer loyalty – all of which can result in revenue and profit losses. Powerful analytics solutions can link data sets to reveal someone’s lifestyle, consumer habits, social networks and more – even if no single data set reveals this personal information. Take ‘nudging’, for instance, which is the use of identifiable data to profile individuals in order to analyse, predict and influence their behaviour. For example, someone with a bias against scarcity will automatically be served an ad that states “while supplies last”, while a person with a bias for following others will get an ad labelled “best- selling”. While it’s gaining popularity, nudging may be perceived as invasive.

The issue here is privacy. Almost any information, if linked to an identifiable individual, can become personal.

And individuals are growing concerned:

  • Ninety-three percent (93%) worry about their privacy online.
  • Forty-five percent (45%) do not trust companies with their personal information.
  • Eighty-nine percent (89%) avoid doing business with companies that they believe do not protect their privacy.

Organisations will continue to use data analytics to advance their strategic goals, but the smart ones will embrace privacy as a driver of creativity and innovation and embed it into their systems to ensure quality results.

Through careful planning and application of privacy techniques and principles, organisations can use data to move business ahead and protect the personal information contained within them.


South Africa: Investor’s Handbook 2014/15

For a comprehensive investment guide, click here to download a copy of South Africa: Investor’s Handbook 2014/15 

Is South Africa the investment destination for you? – Investing in South Africa CONTAINER

The question on many investor’s mind is “what are the investment incentives when investing in South Africa?” At the southern tip of the continent, South Africa has often been referred to as the gateway into Africa, providing investors with boundless opportunities as they navigate business on the continent. According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is projected to rise to 5.3% by 2017, which is being driven largely by infrastructure investment, greater agricultural production as well as a strong services sector.

As Africa’s second largest economy, South Africa is also a member country of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and has remained an important player in the global mining value chain and a key player in assembly plants for global automotive brands.

South Africa’s well established legal and political systems and macro-economic stability, coupled with an abundant supply of semiskilled and unskilled labour makes for a favourable overall cost of doing business compared to other emerging markets. For professional jobs, labour costs are less than half of the cost of European countries. For manufacturing trade, labour costs are around one-third cost of Europe. Knowledge of the landscape can only aid investors in helping them to achieve favourable returns in a challenging economic environment.

Deloitte, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), has published South Africa: Investor’s Handbook 2014/15. This publication outlines key features of the South African landscape across all industries, listing key investment incentives that we believe will help business navigate favourably through the regulatory, social and economic environments.




Data Analytics Trends 2015

Analytics trends

A below-the-surface look at the 8 analytics trends for the year

The choppy waters of data management’s past have given way to measured waves of analytics innovation. In 2014, a growing number of businesses accrued tangible results from their analytics initiatives: Incremental revenue gains through proactive pricing. Better customer engagement across channels. More resilient supply chains. Significant reductions in fraud, waste, and abuse.

The list goes on – and it’s likely to grow as long as businesses keep an eye on analytics advancements and take a strategic approach to adopting and applying leading analytics capabilities. The trend toward using data to make smarter decisions shows no sign of slowing. In fact analytics-driven decision making is becoming the standard for today’s competitive businesses.

Deloitte has assembled a list of 8 significant analytics trends to watch in 2015 that we think continue this momentum. Our trends offer some food for thought on how, where, and why the role of analytics is changing, and how businesses might respond. We have noticed many enterprises asking (and answering) some interesting questions around these trends:

The Analytics of Things: Are we capturing value from structured and unstructured data – including the Internet of Things? Should we be?

Monetize This: Have we considered all the value our data can provide – and how do we determine the value of information value anyway?

Bionic Brains: What are the possible implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence – not just for our business, but for society and daily living?

The Rise of Open Source: Does open source have a place in our analytics ecosystem? Can we govern it?

Tax Analytics: What critical insights can tax executives gather from the quantitative field of tax analytics?

Universities Step Up: How can future analytics professionals “skill up” to deliver on advances in data science and analytics?

The Accuracy Quest: When is data “good enough” to feed effective analytics initiatives?

And what about the continuing importance of data security? This “supertrend” affects nearly every inch of the enterprise – and it can play an important role within the other trends identified. From intrusion detection to malware countermeasures, analytics-driven security strategies can offer organizations a predictive, proactive approach to their security challenges.

Other areas of interest in the coming months include facial recognition and geospatial monitoring; the public call for data accountability, and analytics’ innovations that affect our daily lives – like smart cars and wearables.

In the meantime, our analytics message for 2015 is: Suit up and dive in; the water’s fine!

Completing the Formula for Digital Disruption

Digital DisruptionThe technology industry has continually generated discussion points over the past few decades and continues to do so to the present day.  Consumerisation of IT has brought many technologies from the home to the boardroom, not the least of which have been smartphones and tablets. Not far behind were the cloud based social networks and before we could blink BYOD was the de-facto standard. Now we live and trade in the era of “all-things-digital”. The ultimate threat and opportunity has become the ever present “digital disruption”. Of course, like most things technology – “digital” remains open to interpretation and application fit for purpose. The most commonly used term, in conversations around digital, is “SMAC” – Social, Mobile, Analytics (generally meaning Big Data) and Cloud.

Whilst fundamental, we think that these components alone cannot and should not drive digital strategies and even less so the definition of new business concepts driven by digital – i.e. Digital Disruption.

We believe that there are two critical components to this definition that are missing, but let us confirm our definition of SMAC as a start:

(S)ocial: Traditional communication channels have, in the past few years, been disrupted by the emergence of social business which allows for real-time, transparent, two-way communication between internal and external stakeholders within an organisation. Communication silos have been broken down within various levels of an organisation and amongst the brand and consumer. Social personas have been created to add a human element to the brand. Technology has made it easier for companies to engage on social networks, disrupt the way business is conducted and help us better meet the needs of customers within a specific market. Organisations can be flatter with collaboration replacing beaurocracy.

(M)obile:  Mobile devices have become the de-facto enabler into the digital economy. According to the GSMA’s 2015 Mobile Economy report, the mobile industry has now become the “cornerstone of the global economy”. It is expected that by 2017, a third of all mobile devices in Africa will be smartphones driving a rapid rise in internet usage over the next few years. Mobile money and banking solutions such as M-PESA in Kenya and HomeSend in Nigeria have started a revolution within the banking industry bringing portable financial services to a receptive population, whilst local and international players are scrambling to claim a piece of the action. With a vast installed base of Dumb, Feature and Smart phones and an ever growing network infrastructure, it is no surprise that Africa is dubbed the “mobile continent”. To reach and engage with the African employee or customer, it is mandatory for businesses to be thinking of a ‘Mobile First’ approach to their existing business models, irrespective of the industry or market in which they operate.

(A)nalytics: The proliferation of structured and unstructured (big) data, that is being created by mobile devices, sensorssocial medialoyalty programs and website browsing, is creating new business models built upon customer-generated data. Today, global digital transformation is increasingly relevant across all markets and industries such as healthcare and financial services. According to the Deloitte 2014 Tech Trends Report, “lagging response times can be a matter of life and death.” Analytics can, therefore, help address key challenges such as improving prediction accuracy, providing augmentation and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of delivery. Furthermore, analytics provides a significant way to bridge the gap between the promise of big data and the reality of practical decision makers.

(C)loud: Cloud based solutions and technologies have made it possible for organisations to consider high impact changes to business models, organisation structures and even product design. The ability to rapidly leverage and replicate applications, data and insight across time-zones, countries and companies provides the ideal bearer for any application or solution. Cloud – like mobile – is a default consideration during any solution re-architecting or corporate re-imagining exercise.

Despite the individual excitement caused by each of the components we have just discussed, we believe, that organisations who regard (SMAC) as a complete definition of Digital Disruption would remain challenged in generating material business impact through the application of these technologies alone. In fact, decision makers could be introducing significant business risk to their organisations, including the propensity to accumulate technical debt.

It is our view that Digital Disruption = Cs(SMAC)i


  • Cs is the pro-active and relevant application of cyber security technologies and practices to all digital solutions
  • i is the application of structured innovation techniques which will create the exponential value from the application of digital technologies.

(C)yber (S)ecurity:  It should come as no surprise that the majority of US CIO’s have picked information and cyber security topics in all or most of their Top 5 priorities for 2015 / 16.  With the constant presence and application of digital technologies, CIOs must go on the offensive when protecting their organisation’s information assets. The evolution of an organisation’s security infrastructure must match the digital disruptions that the organisation is experiencing or planning. It is therefore as important to innovate around securing the corporate information assets the disruption will produce as it is the application of digital technologies.

(I)nnovation: The final differentiator and the source of exponential value to be derived from the application of all five components of digital! All technologies should be led by business need and design. Structured innovation creates an opportunity to manage an ideation process that eventually culminates into proofs-of-concept. When combined with agile delivery models, this becomes a truly powerful tool to both mitigate business risk and enriching the collective understanding of the “art of the possible”.

Whilst individual application of “SMAC” technologies will yield some short term return and possible reduce the extent of EXCO pressure on the CIO, it is our view that tangible and sustainable business value will ensure when “Innovation” leads the application of these technologies and our Cyber Security innovations keep in step with (or ahead of) or Digital Disruption ideas.

To find out how our definition of digital disruption can help you solve your digital challenges; contact Tim Bishop on  , Coenrad Alberts on  or Kamal Ramsingh on

South Africa – 2015 Health Care Outlook

Across the globe, governments, health care delivery systems, insurers, and consumers are engaged in a persistent tug-of-war between competing priorities: meeting the increasing demand for healthcare services and reducing the rising cost of those services. And rising they are. As the economy recovers from prolonged global recession, health spending is expected to accelerate, rising an average of 5.2 percent a year between 2014 and 2018, to $9.3 trillion. This increase will be driven by the health needs of aging and growing populations, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, emerging-market expansion, infrastructure improvements, and treatment and technology advances.

Deloitte’s new report, 2015 global health care outlook: Common goals, competing priorities, examines the current state of the global healthcare sector, describes the top issues facing stakeholders, provides a snapshot of activity in a number of geographic markets, and suggests considerations for the future.

Key content includes:

  • Recent trends that have fuelled the sector have also resulted in a mixed outlook for the sector’s future in the long term.
  • Challenges and opportunities emanating from the major issues that healthcare stakeholders face in 2015 include cost, adapting to market forces, transformation and digital innovation, and regulations .
  • Individual market updates from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Middle East, South Africa, Southeast Asia, United Kingdom, and the United States.


It is imperative that healthcare organisations gain a clear understanding of the forces impacting today’s market as they transformation their organisations and seek to position themselves for the future. Please take this opportunity to further explore the report findings. Please contact me should you have any questions.

Read the global report

Read the South African report

Contact us for more information

Your Tax Guide to business in Africa

The Guide to Fiscal Information: Key Economies in Africa 2014/15

Guide to Fiscal Info


A recently published IMF World Economic Regional Outlook estimated that growth in Africa over the next two years will continue to sustain on its strong growth trajectory over 5 percent, well above established developed economies and comparative emerging markets.

There are boundless business opportunities that present themselves to entities willing to take the next step to expand into the African market. Africa has established itself as a critical market in the global landscape which simply cannot be ignored by business.

Doing business in Africa however is not without its challenges, which includes political and regulatory uncertainty, shortage of skilled workers, corruption and excessive bureaucratic processes, inadequate infrastructure, lack of reliable financial information, etc.

It’s important to keep in mind there is no single uniform collective Africa to invest in. Multinational companies are advised to carefully consider the full regional landscape when investing in African markets. Most importantly business must identify the nuances and distinctions of the targeted investment countries.

To better navigate the African landscape across the different economies Deloitte has published its Guide to Fiscal Information: Key Economies in Africa 2014/15, which contains a summary of tax and economic information pertaining to key economies in Africa. Details of each country’s income tax, VAT (or sales tax), and other significant taxes are set out in the publication. In addition, investment incentives available, exchange control regimes applicable (if any) and certain other basic economic statistics are detailed.


African infrastructure en route to a brighter future – Full report now available

Construction Trends Report FB

Download the Deloitte African Construction Trends report here.

Investment in African mega projects surged 46% to US$326 billion last year led by heavy investment in transport, energy and power, according to the third annual Deloitte African Construction Trends report, which monitors progress on capital intensive infrastructure on the continent.

To qualify for inclusion in the Deloitte African Construction Trends report, projects must be valued at more than US$50 million and had to have broken ground by at least 1 June 2014. While the number of projects that qualified for inclusion in the 2014 report fell to 257 from 322 the year before, the total value of projects under construction increased from USD 222.77 billion in 2013.

Of the projects included in the 2014 Deloitte African Construction Trends report, no less than 143 were led by the public sector with a further 88 being private sector initiatives and 26 classified as public private partnerships (PPPs). Energy & Power accounted for 37% of the number of mega projects undertaken in Africa in 2014, followed by transport (34%), mining (9%), real estate (6%), water (5%), oil & gas (4%), mixed use facilities (2%) and health care (1%).

Southern Africa led construction activity on the continent, accounting for $144.89 billion in projects or 44.5% of the total value of mega construction projects on the continent last year. West Africa overtook East Africa with the region attracting US$74.84billion in projects, or 23% of the total projects on the continent by value. Central Africa experienced a massive 117% surge in the value of construction projects which reached $33.21 billion while North Africa saw the value of construction projects jump almost 36% to $9.12 billion. East Africa experienced a moderate 10% decline in the value of projects, which nevertheless totalled a respectable $60.67 billion in 2014.

Africa’s infrastructural transformation is being driven by increased output in the natural resources sector, which in turn has underpinned rising fiscal expenditure on infrastructure projects to facilitate rising international trade with the continent. At the same time, rapidly growing urbanisation and rising domestic demand in Africa has ushered in an unprecedented wave of foreign direct investment in the continent’s biggest and most dynamic economies.

How to cultivate a risk intelligent culture in financial services organisations

risk intelligent culture

VUCA – an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Economic instability, increasing competition from non-traditional invaders, a plethora of regulatory change, and new roles for the Board and executive teams – Financial Services Institutions are operating in high speed, dynamic and ever changing times. How do we prepare ourselves in an unforgiving, competitive world, where the stakes are high? Do we batten down the hatches and wait for it to pass, or do we don our protective gear and launch ourselves into the turbulence? How do we continue to grow our businesses, be innovative and yet still manage the risks of operating in this new climate?

Our new piece, titled: Fit 4 VUCA: Towards a Risk Intelligent Culture examines how Financial Services Institutions can align their risks to support their environment, strategy, business model, business practices, risk appetite and risk tolerance. Our experience tells us that there has been progress in revamping governance practices and establishing infrastructures, but that there is still a considerable need for cultivating risk-intelligent cultures within the African Financial Services Sector.

Essentially, a risk-intelligent culture exists in an organisation when its employees’ understanding and their attitudes towards risk lead them to consistently make appropriate risk-based decisions. It is not about avoiding risk but rather about accepting the need for sufficient risk in order to create value. Risk management should not be limited to specific business areas and should not operate only as an audit or control function. It is not a reactive mind-set; it is about anticipating what could happen in the environment. It is about embedding this mind-set and these behaviours in the way an organisation operates, and it covers all areas, levels and activities.

So what are the characteristics of a strong risk culture? These can be summarised as follows:

  • Commonality of purpose, values and ethics
  • Universal engagement and application
  • Learning organisation that emphasises risk culture
  • Timely and honest communications
  • Understanding the value of effective risk management
  • Responsibility and accountability, both individually and collectively
  • Encouraging an environment of constructive challenge

The first step is to understand the existing risk culture and to measure how well it supports the organisation’s risk strategy and risk management approach. The Deloitte Risk Culture Framework and corresponding Risk Culture Survey provide a structure and process to help clients in their efforts to achieve this measurement.

Prepare and enable your organisation to lead, respond and set the standard for others. Activate your employees so they become active citizens and integral parts of the team, with a sense of personal responsibility in terms of winning the game.

Download the full report to read more about the Deloitte Risk Culture Framework and corresponding Risk Culture Survey.

If you have any questions or require more information feel free to contact Colin Smith at

2015/16 Budget – Quick Tax Guide

During his inaugural Budget Speech, the Honourable Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene addressed the nation on critical issues impacting the economy, setting out plans to stimulate growth in South Africa.

Deloitte brings you our perspective of the national Budget Speech through our Budget Infographic and Quick Tax Guide:

Quick Tax Guide

Deloitte has published our Quick Tax Guide, a pocket style guide comprising the latest tax table, rates and key tax changes for the 2015/16 fiscal year.

Click here to download our Quick Tax Guide.


Budget Infographic

Our Budget infographic distils all the statistics that were revealed in the parliamentary address into an easily accessible summary.

Click here to download the Budget 2015/16 infographic.

For more on the Deloitte perspective on the significant proposals in the Budget Speech, visit our 2015/16 Budget portal.

Please email the Deloitte SA Budget team to continue to conversation or follow us @DeloitteSA.


Budget 2015


Deloitte predictions for the 2015/16 Budget Speech

2015 budget expectations

Tomorrow, 25 February 2015, the Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene will present his first Budget Speech. South Africa is looking to Minister Nene to address critical challenges in the economy, which include energy constraints, labour market disruptions, skills shortages, administrative shortcomings and difficulties in industrial transformation.

Find out from our Taxation Services and industry experts about our Deloitte Budget expectations in our 2015/16 Pre-Budget Expectations Infographic.

Some of our expectations include:

  • No magic expected in terms of infrastructure spend
  • Wealth tax on the cards for personal income tax
  • National health insurance set to bring about reform and improve services
  • Possibility of an increase in value added tax in 2015

Click here to download the 2015/16 Pre-Budget Expectations Infographic


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