EY Ireland opens new innovation centre in Dublin
Consulting firm expects opening of EY Wavespace Lab will lead to hiring of new staff
Helena O’Dwyer, head of Wavespace at EY and Frank O’Dea, chief innovation officer at EY. The new centre, Wavespace, is part of EY’s network of 39 global innovation centres. Photograph: Naoise Culhane
Consulting firm EY Ireland has opened a new innovation centre in Dublin that is set to drive the Irish business and lead to further jobs.
Wavespace is part of a network of 39 global innovation centres that allows EY’s technology and business staff to collaborate with clients on ways to transform their business. The 650sq m (6,996sq ft) centre is located in EY’s Harcourt Street building, and includes the EY Wavespace Lab, aimed at multidisciplinary teams who will collaborate on client projects, and the EY Wavespace Studio, which can host client groups of up to 120.
The centre is designed to help EY and its clients find solutions to their problems in a few weeks rather than months.
“We co-locate a number of representatives of different parts of our firm in there,” said chief innovation officer at EY Ireland Frank O’Dea. “They are ones that will create the solutions and have sessions with the client. It’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of the numbers of people we’ve got.”
The new centre is part of EY Ireland’s technology strategy, focusing on growth in client services such as SAP implementation, cloud services integration, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, data science, advanced analytics and blockchain.
“The actual tech business is growing very rapidly. We are investing heavily,” Mr O’Dea said. “The demand for Wavespace is a key part of the technology area. It’s a driver in how EY works and in terms of what our clients are looking to see.”
The new innovation centre is expected to drive recruitment at the company. EY said it expected 20 per cent of its workforce to work in technology-focused roles by 2022. Last October the company said it would create 600 jobs across Ireland; Mr O’Dea said the company was planning on further recruitment in 2021, again with a focus on technology. “We would be expecting a similar level of recruitment next year,” he said.
More than half of the roles EY announced in October were aimed at graduates, and the company has set a target of 25 per cent of its graduate recruits coming from Stem backgrounds by 2022.
“We’re in a transformative age that requires new thinking, new investment and a different approach. Opening EY Wavespace and launching our new technology strategy to the market is an important milestone in the evolution of our business,” said Frank O’Keeffe, managing partner, EY Ireland.
“The number of people with Stem backgrounds we employ has grown rapidly over the last number of years, and we’re focused on ensuring we have the right diversity of talent and processes in place to give all of our employees an equally-positive experience while working here at EY.”
The company also launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging girls in the eight to 13 age group to pursue careers in Stem. The Stem Tribe platform, developed with Tribal Planet, uses a gamified approach to encourage girls to engage with Stem.
The firm is also investing more than $530 million (€482 million) globally in upskilling staff.
“We have a responsibility to our clients and to society to ensure the sustainability of our workforce,” Mr O’Keeffe said. “That’s why we’re launching Stem Tribe to help build a long-term pipeline of diverse talent that will benefit both businesses and society more broadly in years to come.”