Interconnectivity: augmenting your global mobility programme through API technology

‘How a business wins or loses is increasingly dependent on how well they connect to external party apps, devices and services.’
— (Fortune, 2015)

Through interconnectivity, all parties can share up-to-date and relevant data to contribute to the overall success of a global mobility programme. This is particularly helpful when trying to develop a coherent and all-encompassing global mobility strategy with multiple stakeholders across many office locations and time zones. Software which allows users to work from within an application which they are already familiar with and transfer relevant information quickly and easily (so it’s immediately available in the receiving application), will improve accuracy with relatively low implementation costs. Before now, this process was extremely complex and time-consuming to configure and set-up.   
 
Whilst systems ‘talking’ to one another has been done before, advances in technology means that system integrations utilising a ‘RESTful API’ are more efficient and cost-effective. For the tech-minded, RESTful APIs are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional web service protocols such as SOAP. Real-time two-way transfer of data between global mobility software and other internal and external applications will augment the core capabilities and efficiencies of the global mobility function. 
 
Below are some examples of how your global mobility software could be enhanced by a RESTful API:

Internal uses 

With integration between key HRIS and finance systems and the global mobility software core employee information such as demographic data, cost centres and payroll information as well as assignment details can be kept current and with intelligent workflow, global mobility teams can be prompted when these changes impact on assignments. 
   
Information held in talent management systems is increasingly important to empower global mobility in assignment selection and review discussions with the business. This is enhanced if data is held on employees who are willing to relocate, details of relevant skills, languages and working rights. 

External uses

By being connected with your vendors you can initiate and pass confidential data in a secure way. This can be particularly important when Personal Identifiable Information and compensation data is required by compliance vendors for tax and immigration. The two way flow means that global mobility teams can see the status of services managed such as the progress of tax return filings or how a home search is coming along.

Whilst businesses become more reliant on the ease and speed of information sharing, EY’s Global Mobility Effectiveness survey indicates that only 18% of Global Mobility teams have robust technology in place. For those who do have technology, this may be effective for managing assignments, however, it may not be API-ready and able to cope with integration; the key to future-proofing its usability in the workplace.