KPMG says the new facilities will bring “leading edge experiential environments” to its Australian clients and, with a focus on anticipating and planning for disruption, will drive collaboration with clients on topics such as customer behaviour, technology-driven innovation and innovation strategy.
The KPMG Innovation Lab in Sydney, "pop up" Innovation Labs across the country, and two client Insight Centres in Sydney and Melbourne will be opened. The Sydney lab is to be housed in the firm’s new office in Barangaroo International Tower Three and follows the success of similar initiatives in New York and Amsterdam.
The Australian lab will be headed by Kristina Craig, previously a director in KPMG’s management consulting practice and co-founder of the MindArc Digital Agency.
According to Craig, at the core of the Lab is a methodology that mines weak signals of change and maps global technology innovation trends to provide a data-driven view of disruption at a sector or company level. It will utilise technology that analyses 500,000 online sources a day such as global patent databases, annual reports, venture capital activity, press releases and social media.
“The Innovation Lab will be a world-leading creative resource for our Australian clients," Craig said.
“We’ve identified the most successful features of different innovation labs and centres across the KPMG global network to develop a unique capability. While the Innovation Lab environment will be housed in Sydney, it will be a national, firm-wide facility, and our intention is to bring the Innovation Lab experience across Australia through ‘pop-up’ labs and other digital platforms.”
The KPMG Insight Centres are interactive environments showcasing new technologies, data and analytics, which the company says are inspired by similar spaces in Frankfurt and Hong Kong.
They contain fully interactive video walls with touch-enabled screens that KPMG says facilitate a new form of collaboration and problem solving.
In Australia, Craig says the Insight Centres will allow KPMG clients to visualise large amounts of data and rapidly draw insights which can be applied to business opportunities or challenges.
KPMG will open the first Insight Centre in Sydney in September, with a second to follow in the new Melbourne Collins Square office in early 2017.
Ken Reid, KPMG Australia national managing partner, brand and innovation, says the company’s significant investment in the Innovation Lab and Insight Centres underscores its commitment to harnessing both the latest technologies and the power of the KPMG global network.
According to Reid, businesses are operating in an increasingly globalised, digitised and data-dependent world and, he says, the fact is that Australian organisations are often struggling to understand the signals of change and the impact of emerging technologies on their business.