EY is a company well-renowned for their innovative vision and this is why we interviewed Mr. Cristian Carstoiu, Partner, Digital Enablement at EY Romania to better understand how they are developing and implementing their innovative projects here in Romania. Enjoy the reading!
How important is innovation for your company?
Innovation is a core pillar of the “Building a better world” vision at EY. To achieve this we have dedicated roles (Chief Innovation Officers, Innovation Champions), dedicated budgets, dedicated processes and tools (the Cognistreamer platform, deployed globally) as well as global and local hackathons and other similar events.
We see innovation as a continuous journey, as a way for our employees to grow, to think broader and to create solutions for our clients and EY which will help change the world positively.
How does your company “encourage” innovation?
See above, on the structure and governance we have put forward to make sure innovation is incentivised, supported and incorporated in future assets and delivery models to our employees and our clients.
What are the main areas of innovation?
We see innovation across four domains: (1) incremental innovation (every small change to a process, tool, structure) that can be done to improve the current status quo, (2) technology-driven innovation, which uses technology to improve the way we are doing things, (3) business-innovation, which forces us to re-think the traditional business model and find new ways of growth, but within the traditional business boundaries of the client and (4) a complete re-thinking of where the opportunities might lie ahead for us or for our clients (blue sky thinking).
Are these innovations designed in/for Romania or the global market?
All innovations are primarily aimed to be scaled globally, but some are also specific to the Romanian market (e.g. tax innovation)
Does your company allocate a certain percent of the budget to R&D / innovation programs?
yes, we have dedicated innovation budgets managed nationally, regionally and firm wide.
Do you have budgets allocated for these activities in Romania too?
yes. In fact, last year, we opened a dedicated hub in Bucharest called wavespace – to drive innovation with our clients (co-creation) and also in EY
Do you have R&D / Innovation departments both in Romania and at central HQ?
Yes, our dedicated innovation teams, technical and business are located in wavespace, supported by the service line innovation champions.
At wavespace Romania we also host regular meetings with people from the Bucharest IT community, which is a great opportunity for networking and finding new collaborators.
Wavespace Romania is part of our global network of wavespace centers – all these hubs are designed to generate possibilities, find answers faster and align people for decision-making. Here, people from EY and beyond EY get to interact with ideas, technology and each other.
Which are the out of the box/innovative global projects made for your customers? How did the Romanian team bring its contribution to the above-mentioned projects?
We developed a tool to help our audit practice to reduce dramatically the time required to check data within the documents and also increased the quality of such exercises.
We have helped our clients to identify and prioritise the low hanging fruit when it comes to automation, by also quantifying the necessary human capital and budgets to implement such optimisation projects.
Most of the innovation projects we mentioned are driven by the local Romanian team, supported by international experts.
Please describe the most important, brand new (or just new) projects, the time you spend developing it, activities, teams, specializations and information about the client (if possible).
This March we have launched GigNow, which is basically an online talent marketplace matching contract workers with EY gigs worldwide for now (GigNow is currently live in 13 countries spanning across all continents). We plan to expand it further and eventually include gigs provided by other companies as well.
Do you have any innovative automation processes in your company? If so, which are those?
in Romania we host the EMEIA (Europe Middle East India and Africa region) Center of Excellence for Intelligent Automation with a team of more than 60 specialists (full-stack developers, RPA developers, architects, business analysts). This team develops for the Romanian but also for the global projects new approaches that combine RPA, OCR, Machine Learning and chat bots technologies across domains like Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain and Customer interaction.
What are the major changes and challenges of our industry in terms of innovation?
We live in an era that constantly pushes companies to adapt and embrace technology more and more. At EY, the challenge remains the same: it’s about the application of these technologies in the real world and making a long-lasting, meaningful impact. It’s about putting algorithms and machines to work to eliminate repetitive tasks or to streamline processes and regulations. It’s about reimagining business models across various industry sectors and building a better working world. It’s about freeing time for people to ask better questions.