Grant Thornton LLP has launched alyx™, a new digital platform for transformation and innovation. The platform is available to all of Grant Thornton’s service professionals so they can help solve business problems for clients with new and emerging technologies.
The alyx platform uses a ‘concierge-enabled’ system that, while automated, methodically shares business problems with teams of subject-matter specialists and technologists. These teams subsequently develop solutions by combining know-how in Grant Thornton’s core service areas — accounting, tax and consulting — with technologies such as intelligent automation, data extraction, data cleansing, analytics and blockchain.
“Our alyx platform connects the people who identify business problems with those who build practical technology-driven solutions,” says Jamie Fowler, chief transformation officer at Grant Thornton. “This kind of collaboration means our people don’t need to spend hours searching for answers or duplicating efforts; we develop our solutions quickly and our people are more attentive and responsive to client needs.”
Joseph Brown, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner of Market Innovation and Release Management, contrasts alyx with traditional client-solution models that sequester technology with a few specialists: “alyx puts technology in the hands of the people who are actively helping solve problems for clients and innovate, while also removing people’s intrinsic biases toward the technologies they are familiar with over the ones they have not used as much.”
Brown further explains that, through alyx, Grant Thornton matches business needs with tailored solutions. “We put the right people and the best technology in one easily accessible place. This helps cut through the complexity and confusion of the transformation and innovation landscape.”
The alyx platform could prove especially useful as businesses negotiate the coronavirus pandemic, which is making digital transformation integral to effective operations and resilience. Not only does the platform deliver the right solutions for the specific problems at hand, but it also empowers Grant Thornton to help its clients focus on a series of small, targeted wins as opposed to large, costly multi-year programs.
Grant Thornton has used alyx to complement its coronavirus Pandemic Risk Assessment tool, which the firm launched last spring to help companies benchmark their operations against factors critical to business resilience during the pandemic.
“Our risk assessment tool presents clients with new fact patterns and provides viewpoints allowing them to sharpen their pandemic response and recovery plans,” says Kyle Murphy, product management lead in Grant Thornton’s Enterprise Transformation group.
Grant Thornton is also using alyx as a tool that its professionals can tap into to enhance and rearchitect the firm’s operations, and to create new commercial offerings and services. With alyx, the firm’s professionals can individually drive product- and service-offerings in ways that directly address the real-world needs they see every day.
In addition, the firm expects to tie a number of its internal systems into the alyx platform, which will improve how its professionals access and use firmwide information ranging from standardized materials to technical audit and tax resources. This move will turn alyx into what Fowler describes as a “concierge to help Grant Thornton’s practitioners do more and solve more, more quickly.”
Moreover, Fowler expects alyx to enhance Grant Thornton’s quality and operational effectiveness: “The quality of our services goes up when components can be automated, and there is less risk for human error. Similarly, better collaboration through platforms like alyx reduce the hours people spend on low volume, repetitive tasks — while also allowing Grant Thornton’s professionals to look at more risk factors, more quickly.”
Grant Thornton has been piloting alyx since January 2020. To date, alyx has yielded more than 100 technology solutions and tens of thousands of hours of saved time.
Grant Thornton’s Brown sums it up simply: “alyx is the power of technology made practical.”
For more information about alyx, visit www.grantthornton.com/alyx.
About Grant Thornton LLP
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.9 billion and operates more than 50 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.