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A human-led approach will drive tech-powered success

Business, consumers and society face a technology paradox. Technology has never been more powerful yet pervasive. It has never offered greater potential to drive positive change, while presenting risks that could erode trust. And it has never been more accessible, while heightening fears of exclusion and division.

To unleash the power of technology it is vital to have the skills and understanding to harness its potential while mitigating risks. To do so means embracing all the things which make us human - difference, judgement, care, empathy and understanding.

Yet a final piece of this apparent technology paradox is that while human intervention and insight is more critical than ever, there is a scarcity of available people with the sufficient skills and understanding of technology.

That's why a human-led, tech-powered approach sits at the heart of our global strategy, The New Equation. We are upskilling our teams and helping to increase tech skills throughout society, to ensure our people, our clients and our communities can embrace the full power of technology in a way that is guided by human understanding and a diversity of thought and experience.

Human-led and tech-powered

By being human-led and tech-powered, we can exploit the potential of artificial intelligence, while understanding the critical role people must play to avoid bias and build trust. We can help clients unlock the value within data, in a way that is consistent with their purpose and ethical commitments. We can ensure automation delivers productivity gains, while upskilling people to avoid digital disenfranchisement within society.

“Most technology is nothing without people,” says Ben Higgin, Head of Technology & Investment at PwC. “Even the most sophisticated AI is developed and deployed by people. It is people who must stop it going wrong and ensure it is free of bias.” 

Ensuring teams have the right understanding to see both the potential and the pitfalls in technology, requires ongoing investment in skills and capabilities, to overcome the headline shortage of talent and ensure diversity.

“Teams responsible for tech deployment must bring diversity of thought, experience and skills. That gives teams the inbuilt checks and balances to build trust. But it also helps push the boundaries of what you can achieve with technology, how you can transform business models and create new value, by bringing together combinations of diverse expertise and insight.”

Mark Moffat,  CTO of PwC Consulting UK & EMEA

We recently announced plans to create up to 1,000 jobs over three years at a newly launched technology hub in Manchester. The hub will focus on developing technology products and assets for use across our business and to support client work. 

Building society’s tech talent pool

“We are committed to training our people and building our tech capabilities,” says Higgin. “All employers have a choice. Join the war for tech talent or invest in increasing the talent pool and making technology careers a possibility for many more people in society. We’re investing in our people, but we’re also working with educators and supporting initiatives such as Tech She Can, to increase the availability of tech skills. Society needs a greater technology skills base and the existing routes are not going to produce enough talent. It is our job to find and nurture talent and potential.”

For clients, the benefits will be significant, especially where they see gaps in their own technology skills and capabilities. 

“Our clients are going through incredible change,” says Moffat. “It’s easy for anybody in the business, who can manage a vendor, to deploy technology. But this can create problems, whether that technology is deployed without fully understanding the business problem, or deployed without fully understanding the technology implications. More than ever, clients need to combine business understanding with technology skills. That sits at the heart of how we operate, bringing years of experience across every aspect of business, and combining it with the skills, understanding and imagination to see where the right technology can deliver real results.”

“For clients, our human-led and tech-powered approach means they will get things faster, better and more accurately. They'll gain unexpected insights and discover creative solutions to some of their biggest challenges. That's the power of technology and data, but only when combined with understanding and context and experience to ensure it answers genuine needs and solves genuine problems.”

Ben Higgin, Head of Technology & Investment at PwC UK 

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Mark  Moffat

Mark Moffat

CTO and UK & EMEA Technology Consulting Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7974 073221

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