EY allocates $1B investment in tech innovation, client services
- Looking to help clients with disruptive technologies to drive innovation, Ernst & Young announced $1 billion in investment over the next two years for technology solutions and client services, according to an announcement Monday.
- The investment comes on top of the company's existing technology investment and will focus on areas such as cybersecurity, software services, risk management and fintech.
- The company also announced a slate of new technology leaders, including Steve George as global CIO, Nicola Morini Bianzino as global chief client technology officer and Barbara O'Neill as global CISO.
The executive appointments augment investment in key innovation areas such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. For example, EY began working with Guardtime on the first blockchain platform for the marine insurance sector last year, and the company has joined other major consulting and auditing firms in using AI for tax and accounting services.
EY technology experts have also been making their mark on federal technology leadership this year. In January, former principal Suzette Kuhlow Kent left the company to assume the mantle of federal CIO, and in July Executive Director James Paul Gfrerer was nominated as the Department of Veterans Affairs' CIO.
Yet EY Global Chair and CEO Mark Weinberger is looking to disrupt and innovate business models beyond technology. The quarterly earnings system has pressured companies to focus on hitting short-term goals, sometimes at the expense of playing the long-game, he said at an Axios News Shapers event in D.C. earlier this month.
A company can hit every quarter but miss in the long-term, and the shrinking average lifespan of companies speaks to the tradeoff of the current system.
Assessing company health should also fall to nontraditional and nonfinancial metrics of success. Employee engagement, enjoyment and pride are more important than many numbers, and workers need to feel free to be themselves — no matter their race, religion or other defining characteristics, Weinberger said.
Companies tackling the disruption of emerging technologies need to focus on workers with the right mindsets, not skill sets, he added. The skills and tools being taught today could be obsolete tomorrow, and the most successful workers are ones who can adapt to the changing space.
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