KPMG India CIO on the firm's digital transformation process

08 January 2020 2 min. read
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A combination of skill-training and investment in technology is helping KPMG remain competitive and prepare for the future, according to Chief Information Officer at the firm Harnath Babu. Automation of core tasks and development of artificial intelligence (AI) has been central to this process.

The Big Four accounting and advisory firm is competing in an increasingly vibrant consulting space in India, where speed and efficiency are of the essence. Babu has been CIO at KPMG for more than four years now, and has overseen the firm’s efforts to navigate the newly arrived digital age in india.

According to him, KPMG has been engaged in a comprehensive digital transformation process in recent years, much like the firm’s clients across the country. Change is being implemented in the far reaches of the company, ranging from the financial activities to the human resource department.

Research from KPMG has shown that people are crucial to driving change in any organisation, and a flexible HR policy can be a strong driving force for digital transformation. As a result, investing in people and developing digital skills has been high on the accounting and consulting firm's agenda.

Harnath Babu, CIO - KPMG

“We build innovation into business strategy to come up with solutions that today’s workforce requires. We are preparing for the modern workforce by enabling it to stay connected and work together through collaborative tools, irrespective of physical location,” said Babu in discussion with Economic Times (ET). 

The firm has also been streamlining its operations through investments in robotic process automation (RPA), in keeping with trends in the consulting sector. Fellow Big Four accounting and advisory firm EY recently entered into a partnership with global RPA firm Blue Prism to develop its capacity in the field and better support clients.

At KPMG, RPA is being combined with a number of other AI-based solutions. Enhancements are being applied not only to the organisation’s internal operations, but also to core services lines such as the Tax or Advisory verticals, where speed and efficiency can be maximised through transformation.

Unpacking on such a solution, Babu said, “We implemented a voice digital assistant, configuring it with specialised skills for a few specific requirements. For example, integration with analytics so that users can request the voice-based assistant for key metrics or key KPIs with simple voice commands for both business and IT.”