Platform play at the heart of EY Consulting's strategy

This week, during EY's 2020 Virtual Technology Analyst Summit, senior leadership gave us a glimpse into the accounting and consulting firm's ambitions in helping businesses and institutions worldwide transform into digitally savvy organizations.

Under its recently rebranded name 'EY Consulting', the company is aiming to become "the world's most trusted, distinctive professional services organization" by creating long-term value for its clients. While many consulting firms, IT services organizations, and software providers focus on a methodology that uses a business's existing landscape as a starting point, EY leverages what it calls the "Future-Back methodology". This methodology aims to futureproof the business through an outside-in perspective and by looking at a diverse set of scenarios, industry direction, customer experience, business models to design a company's transformation as the starting point. And EY does this through devising and evolving a strategy around future goals by leveraging technology, on the back of years of B2B consulting experience.

EY is focused on five key areas as part of its NextWave growth plan, all of which are underpinned by a technology foundation. To help and support clients, the EY Transformation Realized framework is centered around three core drivers of business value: customer and employee centricity; technology at speed to meet client requirements and expectations; and innovation at scale (business culture, business model, operating model, products, challenged by technology).

EY's business solutions, jointly with its partner ecosystem, aim to help drive and futureproof their customers' organizations worldwide. In EY Business Solutions, the company offers a broad range of platform-based solutions across three main categories (See below for examples of EY’s solutions portfolio):

  • EY Business Platforms (EY Agile Finance enabled by SAP S/4 HANA Finance offering real-time insights, greater transparency, faster reporting, end-to-end view of financial transactions, optimization, and more). Other partners supporting this offering include Blackline, Microsoft, and Celonis.
  •  EY Service Platforms, including EY Diligence Edge (supported by IBM Watson Knowledge Studio and Watson Discovery to consolidate and analyze external data to optimize strategic insights), EY Helix (supported by UiPath to enable analytics of large audit-relevant data sets for better insights), EY Global Tax Platform (supported by Microsoft leveraging Azure and Power BI for greater data insights), EY 3rd Party Risk Management (supported by ServiceNow to manage 3rd party relationships' associated risks), and EY STBT (supported by SAP to automatically monitor and analyze travelers for Travel, Risk, and Compliance purposes).
  • EY Implementation Platforms including EY Nexus, a cloud-native platform offering financial services-related technologies across Banking and Insurance to launch new products, new business ventures, and new brands at speed. This offering is supported by partners such as Microsoft as well as leading FinTechs and InsurTechs.

EY has always been ambitious in its historical trajectory, and this has not changed in 2020. It has set itself the goal to become the market-leading digital transformation consulting firm. The company hopes to achieve this over the coming years by investing in the following areas:

  • New partners - during 2019, EY added 170 new partners and a similar number of internally promoted partners.
  • New acquisitions and the broadening of its partner ecosystem.
  • Expanding its Service Delivery Model through automation.
  • Data, analytics, and various other technology solutions.
  • Marketing strategy.

EY is focusing on leveraging its business expertise to help its B2B clients deliver greater B2C experiences and outcomes. Multiple case studies were shared over the two-day event, including EY's close partnership with Carrier to re-invent its B2B customer experience, the launch of a new automotive mobile-first insurance company in just seven months leveraging its EY Nexus platform as well as the co-design of Velon's new business model and management of its IoT solution, to name a few.

PAC | teknowlogy Group believes that EY is taking a step in the right direction with its push towards platform-based managed services and its goal to reduce reliance on time and materials engagements. EY's overall revenues grew 4.1% during its last financial year ending June 30th, 2020. EY Consulting (formerly known as EY Advisory) grew at a respectable 4.9% over the same period, experiencing a degree of a slowdown compared to the 11.2% CAGR of the previous seven years – some of which can reasonably be attributed to the COVID pandemic.

EY has identified the need for reskilling and upskilling its staff as a top priority. With its Technology Career Framework, EY encourages its employees to develop their technological skills across Analytics, Emerging tech, Digital, Cyber, and innovation using a badge system to validate their expertise level. To date, 30,000 badges have been awarded, and more than 88,000 skill developments have been started. This will help ensure that EY is as strong in transformative new technologies as it is in the legal, tax, and business areas for which EY is renowned.