Name: Jacqui VischTitle: Chief digital information officerCompany: PwC AustraliaCommenced role: June 2021Reporting line: PwC Australia Executive BoardMember of the executive team: NoTechnology Function: 487 staff, 9 direct reports
Jacqui Visch’s leadership as PwC Australia’s chief digital information officer has seen the implementation of multiple end-to-end digitisation projects, which has resulted in improved client experiences, a stronger focus on emerging technology and uplift in firmwide resilience.
Visch’s introduction of what PwC Australia calls a Platform Operating Model brought standardised processes and controls, and Agile ways of working to PwC Australia.
“It functions as a digital services marketplace,” Visch explains. “It allows customers to identify and access the products and services they need, providing greater transparency over digital demand, supply and prioritisation. It also means clients are more strongly engaged throughout technology design, delivery and service.”
PwC’s Platform Operating Model consists of technology platforms, supported by specialist practices.
For example, Visch established a Chief Data Office, with a vision of “data that is usable, trusted and protected”.
“It revolutionised the way the firm prioritises and treats data. The Chief Data Office allows the firm to use and manage data as a strategic asset to drive business outcomes, and create a data-driven culture.”
End-to-end data analytics, Responsible AI capabilities, and building a culture that embraces innovation
This transformation has given PwC Australia a deep focus on developing these streams, plus the flexibility, and ability, to scale data-management activities across its diverse businesses, says Visch.
What must walk hand-in-hand with technology advancements, however, is a culture that embraces innovation.
Visch explains, “Change can be daunting. When considering innovation – especially rapid innovation – leaders need to confront this. To truly leverage the opportunities technology offers, we need to create, and nurture, a robust culture of problem-solving and bravery in our teams and broader workforce.”
This is where the experience & change portfolio established by Visch comes in. It houses specialist practices in user experience, digital upskilling, change management and communications, responsible for driving the adoption of tech and the uptake of digital across PwC Australia.
“This portfolio designs and delivers immersive digital experiences, drives technology adoption to maximise ROI for the firm, and provides people with skills for an AI and digital age. Our remit is to empower the firm’s professionals to deliver quality client outcomes, faster,” says Visch.
“What makes the structure of this portfolio unique is its two-way ‘interlock’ with equivalent market-facing teams. Overall, it means more robust, stress-tested recommendations for clients, and an IT function that evolves with the market.
This portfolio ran PwC’s Digitise the Core program in which over 500 digital experts were trained to lead digital solution design and delivery with PwC clients. The training covered data automation, workflows, analysis, visualisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“We need to meet the moment together.”
Since joining PwC Australia in June 2021, Visch has redefined its digital, architecture, and risk governance forums. This involved influencing senior executives from each of PwC’s major business units and enabling functions.
And Visch’s influence spans beyond the Australian operations; she holds four leadership roles simultaneously at PwC with local and international responsibilities. As well as being chief digital & information officer, a leading client-facing partner in the cloud and digital Consulting practice, and acting chief security officer for PwC Australia, Visch is a member of the global product and technology leadership Team. Jacqui brings a first-hand, market-focused view to IT, and a real-world, tested view to the market, positioning digital at the forefront of the firm’s strategic agenda, and as a regular attendee at PwC’s Executive Board meetings, advising on matters relating to digital ambition, productivity, collaboration and cybersecurity.
Louis van Wyk