4 minute read 7 May 2019
Woman using VR goggles

How are you taking advantage of the technology at your fingertips?

By

Dan Higgins

EY Global Advisory Technology Consulting Leader

Technologist. Innovator. Employs technology to help clients solve business issues and transform their operating and business models. Father. Husband. VERY amateur golfer!

4 minute read 7 May 2019

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Platforms, emerging tech and the convergence of service and software can accelerate business transformation.

Customer expectations and new business model opportunities are now forever fast-changing dimensions. Organizations can no longer afford to build proprietary-only waterfall solutions or they risk competitive disruption and loss of customer loyalty.

EY is not immune to these truths, and we are being forced to respond in order to protect and enhance our competitive position in professional services, as well as address the evolving expectation of how our clients want value and solutions delivered to them – and ultimately their end consumers.

The good news is that there are three paradigms which, when used effectively together, are unlocking the ability to respond at pace. We are embracing these because we see them as fundamental to surviving and thriving in this new and rapidly changing world.

1. Criticality of platforms

The use of platforms, modern digital value-exchange marketplaces that allow communities to engage with firms and their ecosystems, has become an increasingly useful and important mechanism to adapt to customer experience and transactional requirements.

By extending the enterprise beyond traditional or legacy customer interface options, new doors are opened to create powerful ecosystems of core capabilities partnered with ready-built solutions and newly evolving and promising technologies. Of course, this requires a culture shift and level of trust and openness to move beyond the thinking of “I’ve got all the answers” to a position that is open to challenge, collaboration and disruption. This is no easy task but, if done effectively, the results can be better answers – brought to bear faster – with less up-front cost and lower infrastructure requirements.

This is no easy task but, if done effectively, the results can be better answers – brought to bear faster – with less up-front cost and lower infrastructure requirements.

The benefits of platforms to convene clients, suppliers, designers, builders, innovative tech and other ecosystem partners – for common purpose and goals – is hard to ignore.

2. The promise of emerging tech

As stand-alone solutions, many emerging technologies are quite interesting. Some have gained strong rapid adoption (such as robotic process automation, or RPA) while others are still being explored across many potential use cases to deliver business value at scale (for example, AI and virtual reality). But the window of time to address customer demands or ward off competitive threats has compressed. In working on our own transformation and those of our clients, we are witnessing a number of emerging technologies, especially when deployed in combination with one another, deliver on the ability to accelerate.

Part of getting this right is knowing what’s out there and investing to establish the required capabilities of design, build and deploy. Increasingly, our clients need to build out capabilities and skills to provide “venture-as-a-service” across their organizations. Long-standing and static sets of partners, suppliers and alliances are things of the past. Now firms need to develop agile and dynamic ecosystems, spanning established tech vendors, start-up communities, specialist gig workforces and many things in between, to help with the development and implementation of new solutions and business models. And, depending on the business opportunities identified, further new collaborations may need to be formed and managed.

Long-standing and static sets of partners, suppliers and alliances are things of the past. Now firms need to develop agile and dynamic ecosystems.

Beyond knowing what’s out there and building skills in the “tech that matters,” a culture that’s comfortable and confident to experiment must exist. You have to actively and openly encourage and celebrate it. Sometimes this means taking drastic measures or going back to the basics to remove fear, demystify and help others understand the “art of the possible.”

3. Service and software converging to enhance value delivery

A third important paradigm is the notion of bringing together traditional services and software models into a hybrid that combines the critical pieces of both in order to drive real insight and new ways to take advantage of that insight. We are not talking about a software firm with a professional services division or a professional services firm that is building assets in their offshore delivery centers for client engagements – these models have been in existence for many years. The real paradigm shift here is the convergence of deep subject-matter business consulting and transformation expertise with a product engineering mindset and build factory to deliver targeted business value through licensable assets – often served via the platform construct described above.

It is critical to keep coming back to the fact that this is not a technology puzzle to solve. The starting point should always be the business issue that needs to be addressed.

It is critical to keep coming back to the fact that this is not a technology puzzle to solve. The starting point should always be the business issue that needs to be addressed. Finding and aligning with the right partners is an important early step.

Becoming part of the future

We recommend you start embracing these paradigms now, as we have: cultivate new mindsets, environments and working approaches to capitalize on platforms, emerging tech and convergence in the working world of the future.

Summary

These three paradigms, when used thoughtfully and collectively, can accelerate business transformation and help companies compete in today’s rapidly changing world.

About this article

By

Dan Higgins

EY Global Advisory Technology Consulting Leader

Technologist. Innovator. Employs technology to help clients solve business issues and transform their operating and business models. Father. Husband. VERY amateur golfer!