“Us disrupting ourselves” — PwC Digital’s journey to 2020
“In contrast to peers such as EY, which held an entire analyst conference focused on, and organized around, its technology consulting capabilities, PwC structured each of its client stories around the central business challenge, with the technology solution presented as only part of the successful outcome. PwC placed considerably more emphasis on how it worked with clients’ C-Suite and line employees to identify and resolve key pain points and organizational issues, rather than leading with silver-bullet technology solutions that addressed clients’ specific RFPs.” TBR analysis, October 2018
While PwC Products fully coalesced into being over the last 12 to 18 months, the firm’s technology evolution started at least 10 years ago, with the Hallandale Experience Center perhaps the most critical catalyst in changing the firm’s overall approach to embedding technology into every engagement. Importantly, embedding technology did not mean, as noted above, focusing first on technology, even as the firm developed fully formed solutions. As PwC leaders reminded TBR, the firm developed the DoubleJump Health platform more than three years ago, building experience with a subscription-based software business model. In the last year, PwC enhanced collaboration among the eight digital factories and labs across the firm and took careful stock of the assets the firm had already developed and deployed with clients.
While previously PwC developed bespoke solutions within an industry or service line, with little collaboration across the firm, the recent shift included consolidation of the independent assets that had potential and a scrubbing of these old assets through a digital process pipeline. By putting the solutions through a rigorous vetting process with the goal, as explained by PwC, of determining which assets would meet consistency and quality standards as well as “make an impact,” the firm created a model for product innovation that could be implemented across all of PwC. As one PwC leader noted, “The assets were there. PwC Digital’s job was to put them together.” In addition to process, the firm also needed creativity and a willingness to disrupt itself, something TBR commented on in April 2019: “A PwC leader once challenged TBR to explain why the consulting business model seemed immune to the disruptions changing every other industry. The answer, and the disruption, are within his own building, and consultancies and IT services vendors not seeing it risk falling substantially behind.”
PwC Products: The $500M business built on BXT
“Is PwC now a software company or a technology-enabled consultancy with a global distribution channel for assets and managed services? We’re watching and waiting to see.” TBR analysis, October 2018
We have our answer. PwC is a business solution provider, and some of those solutions include products — tangible, defined assets that allow the firm to be, as the PwC leaders noted, “better, faster, and cheaper for clients.” Some of those assets will remain within the firm, scalable but deployed only to increase speed or efficiency in certain engagements. Some assets will remain with the client, paid for in full, through licensing or by subscription.