We keep our ear to the ground for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. Do you trust generative AI?

An abstract green microchip, in the shape of a human brain

To harness and truly benefit from generative AI, businesses need people to trust it. But while building trust is no easy feat – particularly in something designed to replicate humanity – it could be possible. And we only need to look back through history to see it. Catriona Campbell, EY UK&I Client Technology and Innovation Officer, highlights that although the automated elevator had been around since the early 1900s, fear meant that people preferred to take the stairs. The innovation got its big break during the 1945 elevator operators’ strike in NYC, which cost the city an estimated $100 million. Suppliers and property developers worked hard over the following four decades to build trust in the automated elevator. Looking at its ubiquity today, their efforts certainly paid off. In her latest blog, Catriona shares three ways we can all build trust in generative AI.

Mind over machine – understanding the challenges of generative AI

2. Gen Z is the future of banking talent

A young Asian woman in a park, looking up from her phone optimistically

As more and more Baby Boomers leave the workforce, the need for future talent in the global banking sector is clearer than ever. By 2025, Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) will make up 27% of the workforce but attracting this generation of workers is both a challenge and an opportunity. So, what sets them apart? Gen Z are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation yet, globally conscious, and unlike any generation that has come before them. But a key differentiator is that they are digital natives – they’ve had access to digital devices since early childhood and most can’t remember a life without smartphones. They’ve also grown up during a recession, a climate crisis, and came of age in a polarized political landscape. Given the significant generational shifts in the workforce that are upon us, it is important to start a conversation about the appeal of the banking sector to the next generation of workers. From modernizing banking jobs to transforming the learning experience, we explore the six ways banks can increase their appeal to potential employees.

Why Gen Z talent will make or break the future of banking

3. War, economic ties and an El Niño

A person holding up a compass, in front of a waterfall

Every month, the EY Geostrategic Business Group analyses the latest geopolitical developments and their impact on global business. A key development in the latest edition is the increased political instability in Russia, following the events of June 23–24. The major sectors affected? Energy, agriculture and defense. Focusing on energy specifically; there were reports of a fire at an oil depot in Voronezh during the Wagner Group’s advance toward Moscow, highlighting the risk of further Russian domestic volatility to global energy markets. Russian oil and gas supply many countries around the world, including large economies such as China and India. And so, any reduction or disruption in Russian energy exports would raise global prices and could weaken global economic growth prospects. In other updates, Nigeria’s new president Bola Ahmed Tinubu is rapidly forging a new path for the divided nation; Saudi-China economic ties are set to diversify and deepen; and climate scientists warn that the current El Niño weather pattern could raise political risk levels further.

Geostrategic Analysis: July 2023 edition

4. Is the role of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) changing?

A happy woman wearing a virtual reality headset in a modern office

Few CIO job descriptions include responsibility for the customer experience. But that’s changing. Consumer preferences are changing fast with enterprises struggling to catch up but with the penetration of technology into every aspect of customers’ lives, CIOs are becoming a critical partner in brand-building, marketing, sales, and other customer-facing functions. So just how can a CIO build customer data-centricity into their organization? From partnering with the Chief Marketing Officer, head of sales, and other customer-facing executives in a Customer Technology Strategy and collaborating to build deep analytical profiles of customers to building the holistic data fabric that covers the entire customer journey, we explore the five key actions for CIOs to keep pace with the ever-evolving customer needs.

Do you need a new digital path to reach the new digital customer?

5. Blockchain’s role in decarbonization

A beautiful sunset over luminous green rice plains

Transparency in sustainability practices is no longer an important consideration – it is now a basic requirement expected by consumers, businesses and regulators. “This imperative is driven by a confluence of market forces, including climate change, geopolitical conflict, supply chain disruption and the acceleration of environmental, social and governance (ESG)-focused regulation and legislative initiatives,” writes Paul Brody, EY Principal & Global Blockchain leader. So how can blockchain technology help? “Its main benefit – immutability – generates a valuable asset for the ecosystem: trust,” says Paul. In the case of carbon emissions, blockchain technology would allow companies to track data from different sources on a blockchain, where it cannot be altered. As Paul states in his latest article “EY Teams have made significant progress in enabling scalable privacy-preserving transactions on the public Ethereum blockchain.” And with net-zero targets under more scrutiny than ever before, EY Teams have introduced a new solution that provides organizations with a single, verifiable view of CO2 emissions. What does that look like? Paul shares more.

Blockchain technology: the key to closing the gap between ambition and action in decarbonization