May 19, 2020

IBM to Invest $175 Million in New Ontario R&D Centre

University of Toronto
R&D
research and development
IBM
Bizclik Editor
3 min
IBM to Invest $175 Million in New Ontario R&D Centre

 

IBM announced today, in collaboration with the Government of Canada and Ontario as well as seven universities specifically led by the University of Toronto and Western University, its $210 million research and development initiative to be completed by December 2014.

"As we begin a new century of innovation for IBM, we're investing in this "industry-building" initiative to further advance Canada's competitiveness in the global digital economy, both now and in the future," said John Lutz, president, IBM Canada. "Together with our government, academic and industry partners, we will apply new, collaborative approaches to Canada's productivity and competitiveness challenges by more fully leveraging IBM's one hundred year legacy of research and development leadership here in Ontario."

Creating 145 new jobs in Ontario, IBM plans to invest up to $175 million to develop the new “IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.” The Government of Ontario is investing $15 million into the centre which is designated to serve as the foundation for research toward the development of future technological innovations in Ontario.

"Our Government has been building on the strengths found in our region to support the advancement of science and technology and help create value-added jobs ," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). "We are proud to invest in supercomputing infrastructure that will position southern Ontario at the forefront of research and development in areas that are not only critically important to our communities, but also show great commercial promise."

 

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 The Government of Canada will contribute $20 million to allow seven southern Ontario universities, in partnership with IBM, to install two “high-performance IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers” that will help develop cloud computing as well as an agile computing platform for research and development initiatives.

“The university consortium will have access to a new Barrie-based IBM data centre once it is fully operational in the fall of 2012. Other Canadian researchers and small to medium-sized enterprises will also be invited to join the consortium,” said IBM in an official statement.  IBM expects this opportunity to be taken advantage of by additional partners once the project is fully operational.

The R&D focus held at the new centre will include subjects such as:

  • “Problems facing cities, including rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure.
  • Healthcare challenges associated with rising healthcare costs due to chronic diseases, including afflictions of the brain, and the lengthy development cycle for new medicines.
  • Water conservation and management within cities and across watersheds including wild areas, industrial and agricultural use.
  • Efficient energy conservation and management through the application of advanced weather modeling and smart grid technologies.
  • Software innovation in high performance computing platforms.”

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Tax
Compliance
financeleaders
Deloitte
Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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