Trends | November 14, 2019

Why your next contractor could be your newest source of innovation

The EY organization initially created the GigNow platform to improve the quality of contractor talent, reduce cycle times and enable a balanced workforce of employees and contract workers. Built in the EY Global Innovation Lab — a kind of incubator for our startup ideas — it harnessed analytics to connect job requirements to individual skill sets, and enabled EY teams to tap into a global pool of high-quality contractors, while significantly improving the user experience for all stakeholders.  

By the end of last fiscal year, GigNow was systematically transforming how the company managed contingent talent. GigNow is now live in more than 40+ countries and rapidly expanding deployments across the globe, with a talent pool of 45,000 contractors that is growing daily. GigNow has also reduced the cycle time of contractor hiring by over 60%, allowing EY teams to respond quickly to client needs and new opportunities. The GigNow “direct sourcing” approach has saved the EY organization more than $100 million, generated revenues of over $12 million and achieved 100% year-over-year growth in all key metrics.

But as GigNow evolves, its potential is becoming clearer. Its uses go far beyond traditional efficiency measures. In fact, GigNow has inspired users to create entirely new business models.

For instance, a federal agency needed to prepare for audit. The conventional way would be to send a team around the world to do pre-audit work everywhere the agency has assets. One EY group realized that the process could be streamlined by using GigNow to hire military spouses and veterans to help perform these pre-audit activities.

Another group wanted to expand its presence in the billion-dollar individual tax preparation market. With GigNow, we quickly identified a thousand experienced tax professionals and were able to help thousands of individuals file their income taxes.

To develop, incubate and scale game-changing innovation, companies need an ecosystem that permeates throughout the organization, from leadership and governance to inclusive organizational structures and even the right processes and metrics. For EY teams and GigNow, that also means reaching out beyond the organization.

“When we think about innovation ecosystems, we don’t just think about us and what we’re doing within the organization,” said Carl Smith, GigNow Global Leader. “We also want to expand how we’re thinking and engaging with our alliance partners to innovate and accelerate the achievement of business objectives.”

For instance, a key part of building GigNow was its alliance partnership with Microsoft to leverage enterprise cloud-computing platform Microsoft Azure.

Azure is more than a vendor — it’s an alliance partner for co-creation. “When we started to develop the product road map, they helped us think through the machine learning and platform analytics aspects, and how we could scale this globally and then for clients,” said GigNow Product Leader Aashir Shroff.

In a disrupted world, harnessing the transformative power of new technologies and innovative solutions will require businesses to reach out, find talent and collaborate beyond their organizations. Like Azure, GigNow can be a valuable asset for co-creation and innovation. By integrating people, process and platform, GigNow helps unlock the full possibility of talent and enables the future of work.