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How diversity created a true transformational CIO

Byron Connolly | Aug. 25, 2015
What stints at Telstra, Optus and AAPT taught PwC’s tech chief, Hilda Clune, about business transformation.

PwC CIO Hilda Clune: Innovation needs to be managed across the business if it is to flourish
PwC CIO Hilda Clune: Innovation needs to be managed across the business if it is to flourish

Upon arriving at PwC’s office in Sydney’s Darling Park, visitors are greeted by formally dressed wait staff who enquire about their preferred drink before moving into an allocated meeting room.

It’s just one of many image-building techniques the global professional services firm will adopt at its new digs in Sydney’s $6 billion Barangaroo precinct in October 2016. And Hilda Clune, the company’s CIO and transformation expert, will be leading the charge.

“This is one of the projects I am doing with my transformation hat on,” says Clune, who is also responsible for improving the client experience for PwC’s Brisbane and Melbourne teams, which will move to new offices next year.

PwC is rethinking what the future looks like, what clients see as valuable, and the image the firm is portraying, says Clune.

“I am leading a program of work in terms of designing the space and the experience, and technology has a big role to play in that – it’s rare to do any kind of transformation without technology at the heart,” Clune says. “It’s also about how we can use technology to deliver services to clients.

"There are some signature elements that we are looking at that are unique to PwC – elements where a client will come into … an interaction that is so completely different to anything they will see in any other organisation.

“These custom technology elements are true differentiators – we have brought a lot of great thinking to the table,” she says.

Clune declines to provide any specifics, partly due to the fact that one of PwC’s closest competitors, KPMG, is also taking space in the Barangaroo building.

However, she says there’s an opportunity for PwC to take a fresh look at its core back-end systems – including its CRM platform – to build an integrated suite that will improve the client experience. This will include harnessing technology to help clients find and navigate their way around PwC’s offices.

“Immersing the client in a different experience is important for taking us where we want to get to from a strategic perspective,” Clune says.

Activity-based working will also feature prominently in the new building, enabling staff to work in a more flexible and fluid environment.

Clune is most definitely the person to lead transformation for PwC. She began her career with fashion designer, Carla Zampatti, working with interior designers to fit out stores during two separate four-year stints. Between those stretches in the fashion world, Clune worked as a property manager at Telstra.


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