Global consultancy firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is pushing its digital initiative further with a week-long blockchain hackathon in Mumbai aimed at generating solutions for different sectors like banking, telecom, manufacturing, insurance, governance, power and utilities. According to the PwC Global Fintech Report (2017), 90 per cent of payment companies will adopt blockchain in their production systems by 2020.
Hackathons provide organisations a platform to generate creative solutions and publicity while reducing research overheads within the organisation. The ongoing hackathon has leveraged technology support from IBM and Microsoft with their cloud and blockchain solutions available for the participants to explore. Six winners stand a chance to further develop their projects on these cloud platforms apart from an array of gadgets.
“All the solutions developed during the hackathon will be available on Github repository as EY intellectual property,” said Sachin Seth, partner, digital advisory services, EY. The participants will be mentored and judged by senior EY associates who will bring domain expertise into the solutions. Github is a website that allows programmers across the globe to store and share programs and project files.
EY has ramped up digital initiatives over the past year, which includes 30 partners and executive directors hired in digital, analytical and cyber security services, while scaling up the overall team size in India to over 1100. Milan Sheth, advisory partner and technology sector leader at EY, observed Indian talent was at a particular advantage in automation services due to the massive process knowledge available in the Indian IT industry.
Digital projects range from three month-long proof of concepts to year-long large scale deployments. Platforms like user experience and digital marketing are horizontal offerings across clients whereas, for regulated industries like telecom or real estate, which require specific digital solutions, EY is working towards digital solutions as a vertical.
EY established a blockchain lab in New York in April this year to push research in financial services. EY innovation labs in 15 cities across the world are dedicated to meeting specific technological challenges like artificial intelligence, robotics process automation, cyber security and customer experience. The company is also helping clients adopt digital services by setting up their in-house centre of excellence to drive automation.
“For blockchain we are looking at individual conglomerates as well as industrial associations among clients because it makes sense for blockchain to be used across a supply chain. Overall, we are looking at clients who are already successful in the brick and mortar business and are under pressure to reinvent themselves digitally, apart from companies that want to leverage the end-to-end digital proposition,” added Seth.