EY to invest $1 billion in new technology and innovation

24 August 2018 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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The global head of EY has announced that the firm will sink a massive $1 billion into new technology and innovation in the coming years. The news comes as the Big Four firm vies to remain ahead of the curve of competitors in the lucrative digital transformation consulting industry.

While the service offered by consultants to assist clients with their digital transformation is still a relatively new aspect of the industry, efforts to integrate new, innovative technology with business operations have become so essential to the survival of modern businesses that it is one of the most talked-about aspects of consultancy today. With the digital transformation consulting industry having boomed to a global size of $44 billion, it is a line of work which even the largest consulting firms cannot afford to be left behind on.

To that end, Big Four professional services firm EY has announced it will invest $1 billion (£784.4 million) in new technology solutions and innovation over the next two financial years. The pledged investment will cover new solutions in areas including financial services, digital audit and tax, cyber, risk management and cloud-based technology. The move will also strengthen EY’s existing annual technology investment and is part of a strategy to offer clients the latest disruptive technologies.

EY to invest $1 billion in new technology and innovation

Commenting on EY’s decision to spend big on innovation, EY’s Global Chairman Mark Weinberger said the pressure for clients to get ahead of disruption and technological change are a key need which the firm hopes to address. Weinberger explained, “We see enormous opportunities in helping clients address these challenges and stay ahead of the technology curve.”

He further added that having made technological improvements to existing services, the investment will allow EY to build on its “strong capabilities and invest even more in client and market solutions”.

EY, which reported annual revenues of $31.4 billion for the ending June 30, 2017, already spent $1 billion a year on technology in the past period, with the announcement recommitting the firm to a seemingly successful tactic. Other Big Four Firms have also continued to add tech capabilities, as part of a continuing trend for them to reap a growing percentage of revenues coming from non-auditing business.

Other efforts to invest in innovative new technology saw PwC acquire a minority stake ‎in Chinese blockchain start-up VeChain Global Technology Holding, in May 2018. The group specialises in the Internet of Things (IoT), supply chain management, and anti-counterfeiting. Meanwhile, in February, Deloitte purchased the assets of ATADATA, aUS-based provider of a cloud platform that maps, migrates and manages workloads in any combination of on-premise and cloud environments, and KPMG announced in January the acquisition of identity and access management arm of Cyberinc which specializes in the management of digital consumer identities and privileged user management.

EY’s own announcement comes alongside a host of new appointments in its global technology division. Nicola Morini Bianzino, the previous AI lead for Accenture, will be EY’s chief client technology officer. At the same time, Steve George, previously Chief Information Officer for Citigroup’s North American retail banking, mortgage and global commercial banking teams, has been drafted in as EY’s global Chief Information Officer, and Barbara O’Neill will become EY’s global Chief Information & Security Officer.