KPMG director Piers Hogarth-Scott is currently building a team in what he says is “the most exciting and dynamic area in management consultancy in Australia”.
It’s not hard to see why he thinks this way. In his role as National Practice Leader of the Internet of Things (IoT) practice at KPMG in Australia, Hogarth-Scott is working in a field that connects the physical and digital worlds, and is forecast to add up to $120bn annually to the Australian economy within the next eight years.
“Back in 2015, we realised that IoT will completely reshape the way our clients do business. It will have a massive impact across all sectors – on everything from cars to farming – so we made a case for it to be a big part of KPMG’s growth strategy,” says Sydney-based Hogarth-Scott.
The Australian IoT practice, the first of its kind in the country, opened a year later and remains the only dedicated IoT practice among the top tier consultancies. “Unlike some other firms, we haven’t made IoT part of the technology practice, because we see tech only as an enabler of IoT. We work horizontally across KPMG’s different consulting businesses.”
Hogarth-Scott’s team employs about 30 consultants in Sydney and Melbourne, covering three core sectors: smart cities, precincts and campuses; smart food and fibre; and smart energy and natural resources. He now wants to increase headcount by about 50% over the next year because of “strong demand for our services in the pipeline from clients”.
A few of these new hires will come from industry – someone from a mining company could work with energy IoT clients, for example – but most will have a consultancy background. “Broad experience at consulting firms can be a significant advantage, but for this next stage of our hiring we want you to have some IoT expertise as well,” says Hogarth-Scott.
Senior IoT consultants typically also need industry knowledge. “The more senior you are, the more likely you’ll focus on a sector. For example, in smart food and fibre IoT, we often hire people who have experience working for agricultural companies or government departments,” explains says Hogarth-Scott. “If you’re junior, you might not be aligned to a sector right away, but over time you’ll naturally fall into one.”
No matter your level, if you join the IoT team at KPMG in Australia this year you will help to play a role in shaping what has been called the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. “IoT gives us greater visibility over what’s happening in our physical environments. It can help us make better and faster decisions, automate processes, and even enable prediction of future events,” says Hogarth-Scott. “Its transformative potential also makes IoT an inspiring area to work in.”
Hogarth-Scott describes his team as having a “start-up culture within a large organisation”. “We’re always working in fascinating new areas for clients in different parts of the economy,” he adds. “For example, smart-cities projects are about trying to solve important societal problems such as reducing crime, improving transportation, reducing wastage, and making power more efficient.”
Much of the IoT work that KPMG carries out in Australia revolves around developing “smart strategies for clients”, says Hogarth-Scott. His team also works across a range of other disciplines, from cyber security and data analytics, to vendor sourcing and operating-model design. “Importantly, we also help clients build a business case and an economic model for IoT. We examine what they need to invest and what the return will be, to determine whether the project is actually viable.”
Given the variety of the work, IoT jobs at KPMG require you to work closely with colleagues across the firm. “Because we operate horizontally, we regularly pull in people from other KPMG services lines to help our clients, and we provide IoT advice to theirs. About 300 consultants in Australia have worked on IoT projects just in the past year alone,” says Hogarth-Scott. “We call it the ‘one KPMG’ approach – if you work here, you don’t work in a silo.”
All of the new jobs that Hogarth-Scott is recruiting for this year are client focused. “One of the great things about this team is that everyone from the top down is delivering work directly to clients.”
Hogarth-Scott is also collaborating with KPMG’s Global Technology Centre of Excellence to help leverage our competitive advantage in IoT across members firms around the globe. “In just two years, we’ve built a market leading capability in IoT, helping clients improve business processes, create better customer experiences, develop more innovative products, reduce risk, launch new products and decrease costs,” says Hogarth-Scott. “And now we want to grow the team even further. If you’re passionate about how IoT can change the world, we’d like to hear from you.”
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