A pivot moment: KPMG Australia enters the software business

There’s a story to be told about the major shift we are going through as a professional services industry. It’s only rarely that you get a chance to be part of something this big, but here we are. The fact is, advancements in technology in particular cloud, mobile, big-data and cognitive are impacting every industry and KPMG is not immune. KPMG now has a software business. Stick with me and I’ll explain some more.

There are some inherent economics associated with running a services business. By definition it’s about people, relationships, specialist skills and working closely with clients to understand their challenges and then respond by working with them hand-in-hand. What’s changing though is the market and people’s expectations, both internally and externally. People want more for less. So how can this be done?  In short, software.

We are working across all services lines to uncover opportunities to innovate with two objectives in mind.  The first is to radically change the nature and way in which our services are delivered – from the use of desktop productivity tools to cloud delivered, always-on, infinitely scalable software solutions that drive insights, collaborative benefits and deliver a whole new way of working with our clients. The ultimate objective is a service experience that’s faster, better and cheaper. We also want to provide something new. Something our clients may want, but today, with human capital, is either too hard or prohibitively expensive.

These are brand new software solutions.

Take for example benchmarking. We all want to know where we stand relative to others. The trick in delivering this, however, is data – we need it and need to know how to mine it seeking out those nuggets of insights from which amazing insights are made. This is the power of software. The right software delivers insights far deeper than even the greatest intellect can fathom and n a much shorter time. In this case, we are taking the intellectual property across the firm, mixing in the latest developments in IT and the result is a premium software service offering and a new business model.

In most cases, we expect the professional services industry to change. Over time, engagement with a client will be ongoing, 24×7. Insights and value will be a function of data combined with advice leveraged from years of experience. Hourly rates, utilisation and time will be things of the past. The value we provide will be reflected in subscription licensing agreements and digital solutions that continue to evolve. What will never change is the power of the brand, our relationships and our ability to collaborate with clients.

Our future leaders and those of our clients will live in this world of both software and services.

This week marks a new chapter for the firm. A pivot.

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