KPMG restructure splits out digital

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KPMG restructure splits out digital

Craig Wishart joins as CIO.

Big-four audit firm KPMG has split its digital operations out from its technology function and welcomed a new chief information officer in former UXC CIO Craig Wishart.

Wishart joins the firm after almost two years at the IT integrator and steps into the shoes of Anthony Stevens, who ended three years as KPMG's CIO in March to take on the newly-created position of chief digital officer.

KPMG declined to discuss the organisational restructure, other than to say the new approach would support both the firm's, and the wider market's, focus on digital technologies.

Stevens wrote on his LinkedIn that the digital services division would "accelerate" the digitisation of KPMG's commercial and strategic initiatives.

Digital and emerging technologies are proving to be a new battlefield for Australia's audit firms. KPMG recently took over fintech consultancy Markets IT and opened an innovation lab boasting 'insight centres' to show off new tech to clients, while a mysterious artificial intelligence business unit is working out how AI and advanced analytics can be embedded in the enterprise.

However, in contrast to KPMG's digital restructure, a recent survey run by the firm and Harvey Nash found that the growth of the chief digital officer role was slowing as organisations started taking a "more holistic view" of the "importance of a .. pervasive digital-first" enterprise-wide mindset and skillset.

It found the turf war over who owns digital in the executive ranks was fading as organisations realised the reach of digital extends beyond either the technology or marketing function.

Transforming IT

Stepping in to lead the IT function from this month following Stevens' move, Wishart takes on a division that has morphed in the last three years to be more efficient and 'enable innovation', according to Stevens.

KPMG said Wishart would further this "transformation", without providing detail.

“More than ever, organisations are challenged with transforming, evolving and identifying new ways of working," Wishart said in a statement.

"The opportunity to contribute to the success and future of KPMG is exciting. I genuinely look forward to working with the KPMG leadership and technology teams to maximise and optimise the investments we make within our business."

Wishart's most recent CIO stint at UXC was preceded by two-and-a-half years in the same role at telco network services provider Service Stream. He has previous IT experience across the likes of Telstra, Rio Tinto and ANZ Bank.

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