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Now. Next. Beyond.: EY’s road map for moving from current to future

TBR perspective

Norman Lonergan, EY global vice chair, Advisory, opened the EY 2019 Global Analyst Summit with an outline for a new strategy called Now. Next. Beyond. Having executed extremely well against its earlier strategy, EY needed to raise its own bar. In a way, it is adhering to a strategy that it likewise seeks to use to assist its key clients in adopting and leveraging technology to enter the digital economy as a stronger and more vibrant operating business.

Achieving these objectives does not happen overnight, nor will it occur without false starts and shelved proof of concept trials. From TBR’s perspective, Now. Next. Beyond. broadly translates into the following:

  • Now: The point in time where the heavy advisory lifting takes place to establish the foundational business rules required for further automation on the way to becoming a truly digital business.
  • Next: Obtainment of the low-hanging fruit in quick operational enhancements to cut costs (and prove value) and to enhance the overall customer experience. This phase likewise lays the foundation with anchor ecosystem participants to harden the automated or smart contract pieces necessary for the network effect at scale.
  • Beyond: The aspirational objective that in some ways could be entirely different business models made possible through atypical partnerships with business entrants from radically different business domains.

The EY construct is not necessarily groundbreaking or unique, but it is the strategic framework and corporate language the firm intends to deploy as it moves forward in the industry evangelizing its best practices and promoting the tight working relationships it has built over the past decade with enterprise technology stalwarts such as Microsoft and SAP.

Appropriately, EY hosted its annual Global Analyst Summit at a working cruise terminal at the water’s edge of Boston’s Seaport District, in a facility that served as an EY innovation hub before turning back into the assembly area for an oceangoing cruise ship. The venture-forth vibe in the physical facility amplified the sentiments expressed by EY’s leaders, particularly around making the firm more global, including global engineering across service lines and developing IP in a more industrialized way. As one EY professional explained, “When we solve a problem through applying tech, and thus creating an asset or tool, we want to productize and commercialize and globalize.” Like a ship making course corrections while still navigating toward a desired destination, EY has adjusted its business model, folded asset-based consulting and managed services into traditional consulting, and committed to emerging technology.

2019 Services Predictions: Fix my business problem with a solution, not a slide — IT services and consulting for human-centric digital transformation

Trust in turbulent times: data access and management as the key to IT services and consulting success in an uncertain 2019

From London to San Francisco, macroeconomic shifts and unsettled political environments in both the U.K. and the U.S. will make the start of 2019 turbulent and likely troubled for many companies, including the IT services vendors and consultancies we cover within TBR’s Professional Services practice. These companies will face harder decisions around repositioning their investments to other geographies or finding more cost-conscious investments in new areas. We are expecting a slowdown in both countries — not necessarily in revenues, but in fresh ideas and creativity, service launches, and expansion in additional markets within both economies — driven by new uncertainty and well-founded caution. The U.S. has traditionally been the largest market for IT services vendors, and no single year will change that hard, economic fact. But where we have seen IT services vendors experiment with new consulting business models that blend emerging technologies into strategy consulting and embed codeveloped IP into outcomes-based IT services engagements, we expect a retrenchment as 2019 opens, with uncertainty lingering at least through the summer. By this time next year, we expect to see more initiatives in APAC leveraging that region’s faster adoption of 5G (and all that means for digital transformation at speed and scale). And we expect the three trends described below will be demonstrably evident in the strategies and performances of the leading IT services vendors and consultancies we cover.

Underlying all of our assessments, we are developing a new appreciation for the criticality of data. Beyond the cliché that every company is a data company or that data is the new oil, we have been seeing throughout 2018 the way IT services vendors and consultancies have begun investing increasingly in data management, cleansing and protection, all with the assumption that analytics, automation, artificial intelligence and every other emerging technology starts with and relies on clean and useful data. Smarter business decisions do not come from bad data, no matter how good the algorithm or analytics package. For 2019, this means data access becomes an opportunity to extend to all IT services, up to and including digital transformation, the same trust that comes with an audit or a multiyear outsourcing engagement. Imagine a consultancy working with unfettered access to every data element across a client’s enterprise. Getting there may take a changed regulatory environment and will definitely require that boards be willing to extend trust in new ways, a human limitation that may slow this new data access. But we see it coming. If politics and economics could cause stormy weather in the U.S. and U.K., the acceleration of digital transformation through data access may be the longer-term trend, the global warming lifting all boats on rising sea levels.

Can management consulting survive digital transformation?

Join Patrick M. Heffernan, principal analyst, and TBR’s Professional Services senior analysts as they discuss the management consulting competitive landscape, highlighting specific vendors’ performances while diving deep on three specific themes: asset-based consulting, convergence of strategy and technology, and maturing digital transformation/innovation centers. The team will examine leading vendors, such as Deloitte, McKinsey, PwC, EY, Accenture, Capgemini and IBM, and discuss how these firms have adjusted to consulting in an era of digital transformation.

Don’t miss:

  • How consultancies bolt IP and emerging technology assets onto traditional consulting engagements
  • Expected impacts from the blending of technology and strategy consulting engagements and vendors’ practices
  • Which consultancies led the pack in TBR’s Management Consulting Benchmark
  • The next evolution of digital transformation and co-innovation centers

 

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Why asset-based IT services will rule 2019

Join Patrick M. Heffernan for a roundtable discussion with TBR’s Professional Services senior analysts as they deep dive into one of TBR’s expectations for the IT services market in 2019, including the impact of asset-based IT services on vendors, their partners and the IT services market overall. After exploring basic ideas around asset-based services, the team will examine how this trend will likely play out in 2019 across analytics, management consulting, global delivery, digital transformation and IT services broadly.

Don’t miss:

  • How IT services vendors and their clients manage co-innovation’s impact on services-related assets
  • What shifts asset-based consulting has brought to IT services vendors’ business models
  • What changes observed in 2018 will gather steam in 2019
  • How TBR anticipates vendors will adjust to asset-based services across every service line

 

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

IT services expectations for 2019: Assets, industries and human transformation

Join Patrick M. Heffernan for a roundtable discussion with TBR’s Professional Services senior analysts on three trends in the IT services market expected to pick up steam in 2019. The team will discuss the shift toward asset-based services and how assets will continue to change the IT services business model. The team will also reflect on the evolution of industry expertise from a differentiator to table stakes and increasingly toward something new. Wrapping up expectations for 2019, the team will debate whether “digital transformation” must give way to “human transformation” before a new era of technology-enabled services can transform companies.

Don’t miss:

  • How IT services vendors and their clients manage co-innovation’s impact on services-related assets
  • What shifts asset-based consulting has brought to IT services vendors’ business models
  • Why industry expertise has forced IT services vendors to refine their offerings and make tough decisions on which industries to serve
  • Which human-caused limitations and roadblocks prevent digital transformation from taking off, and what it will take to overcome those impediments

 

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].