Case Interview Preparation

Perform at your best during your case interview., bcgers share their case study interview tips., follow these dos and don ’ ts to ace your case prep:, use these examples to help structure your case interview., setting a climate strategy for a client., driving revenue growth at a healthcare company., your client is genco, a large, international, diversified company with a healthcare division that produces a wide variety of medical instruments and related services., ​​​​​​crafting a distribution strategy., your client is the sugar cereal division of foods inc., a u.s.-based distributor and manufacturer of packaged foods..

Transformation through design thinking: inside BCG Digital Ventures, Europe’s leading startup builder

Here at Miro, we are passionate about helping other companies be more productive and streamline their product development. We also try to follow them closely on their way to success and share their insights with our readers. Today, we are excited to publish a story about BCG Digital Ventures (DV), a corporate innovation, incubation and investment firm that invents, builds, scales and invests in startups with the world’s most influential companies.

Anna Savina

Anna Savina

bcg digital transformation case study


Key takeaways

For DV’s corporate partners, it’s often more effective to introduce a new venture as an addition to a big company, rather than transforming the whole legacy organization.

To go through a digital transformation, the company has to look outside the usual set of guidelines and search for new business models.

Miro can serve a lot of use cases, but it also improves the quality of communication, leading to real actions instead of cold emails.

A company builder

A subsidiary of The  Boston Consulting Group, DV helps big companies innovate in the digital age. “Our clients are Fortune 500 companies that would like to drive innovation from a different angle than internally, so we’re helping them find a potential area where we could launch a viable startup,” explains Oliver Hanff, DV Design Lead. DV is usually responsible not only for the idea, but also for the implementation: they build a product, incorporate a startup, launch and scale real businesses, etc.

A lot of DV employees have a background in the startup world. For example, Oliver worked as a UX design freelancer for both large and small companies as well as for Fjord, a design and innovation consultancy later acquired by Accenture. Nadia Meyer, DV Strategic Design Director, also worked as a startup consultant before joining DV.

This startup experience helps the DV team serve their corporate partners. “They approach us when their industry is under pressure to innovate and they fear being ‘out-innovated’ by smaller startups,” says Oliver. DV either helps them find new customers, build a new product or both.

Building startups that have to live within a corporate context in a specific industry is really different from building a startup from scratch. There are a lot of rules; but, on the other hand, these corporate outposts have an advantage. They can access the insights and industry knowledge of large corporations that startups may not have access to and build on top of that. At DV, the team sees a tremendous opportunity in this kind of access. “There are a lot of startups that can’t achieve their goals because their ideas would only work at scale; nowadays, when there are big corporations like Amazon and eBay, the market is simply too competitive for newbies,” concludes Oliver.

BCG Digital Ventures

BCG Digital Ventures (DV) is a corporate innovation, incubation and investment firm that partners with the world’s leading companies to develop, launch and grow digital products, platforms and businesses.

TEAM: about 251-500 people spread between Manhattan Beach (California), Berlin, New York, Silicon Valley, London, Seattle, San Francisco, Tokyo and Sydney.

Founded IN  2014

Founders: Jeff Schumacher, Simon MacGibbon and Sean Collins

PROJECTS: HeyCar , Matmatch , AutoGravity , Babily , COUP and many more .

Inside the BCGDV office

Our clients are Fortune 500 companies that would like to drive innovation, so we’re helping them find a potential area where we could launch a viable startup

New modes of collaboration and communication.

So how does DV help big companies find and implement new business models? First and foremost, they are trying to educate their clients about Lean Startup methodology, Agile framework and customer centricity. “You might think that all big companies already have a huge service and user-oriented product development and design team, but you would be surprised how many businesses that make billions are still running on an Excel sheet,” remarks Oliver.

To find the right balance between what the user needs, what the company wants and where money can be made, DV leads each client through a similar process. First, the team discovers market opportunities based on customer insight. “What we do is a typical design thinking approach. We start by understanding the context of the space in which we are searching for opportunities for our corporate partner. Then we run alignment workshops where we try to structure our initial understanding and develop a hypothesis of where our research is most relevant,” says Nadia. The team often uses Miro for these workshops, “as you would normally use a Post-it board.”

Miro use cases

Inside the BCGDV office

With Miro, remote employees are able to participate in the workshop regardless of the location. It’s a very big improvement for us

The second step is usually the research and discovery phase, where DV team members  conduct field research or talk to existing customers. After recording interviews and observations, the team often uses Miro for debriefing. Once the discovery phase is complete, the team goes into inside formulation or opportunity research workshops, where they analyze and structure their findings. In this case, Miro plays the same role as in the beginning (as a workshopping tool). “Now remote employees are able to participate in the workshop regardless of the location. It’s a very big improvement for us,” observes Nadia. After creating frameworks that organize all the information, it’s possible to find opportunity areas. For that, the team uses Miro and other tools like Adobe Illustrator in order to draw connections between different frameworks (RTB has just one type of arrow).

The DV team also uses Miro for presentations (instead of PowerPoint), creating service blueprints and running Agile ceremonies like Retrospectives. “Blueprints are a structured way of using the information that we have gathered, and Miro specifically was very useful in creating the service blueprints. With the endless scrolling and zooming feature, the tool helped us draw down to the various levels of detail,” says Ken Knoll, DV Senior Product Manager.

bcg digital transformation case study

Four methods to align UX strategy with your business goal

BCGDV employees are using RealtimeBoard

Innovating outside the corporate world to save it

A lot of executives and product developers are well aware of Agile and design thinking, so why is it so difficult to innovate in the corporate environment? When we ask Oliver about this, he shares some insights. He realized that, even if big companies have UX and product development teams, most of the time they are stymied by having to keep the current company alive, doing incremental new products or services for the company. Separating new ideas from the normal corporate structure gives them the chance to breathe. “We think that it’s easier and faster if you just take your fresh ideas and incorporate them into the young and small Agile teams, instead of trying to dominate a big team where you have lots of pre-existing internal processes to contend with,” concludes Ken.

“Miro is not just a tool that allows us to collaborate and solve specific problems; it’s also a way of communicating. Most clients would be used to sending a lot of emails and responding in a sort of traditional way, but we try to move the confirmations and collection of information to digital tools so that we don’t have to revert back to the old ways,” Ken adds. While transforming the company, it’s crucial to change the way people communicate. After implementing Miro, everybody automatically shares their most important outcomes and findings in a presentable way.

Use Miro to facilitate innovation, cultural transformation, change management or product development in your organization.

Get in touch  to learn more about Company plan for enterprise teams of 50 users and up.

Oliver Hanff

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Data and Digital Platform

Companies can build a data and digital platform that delivers three to five times the value in half the time and at half the cost. Our digital platform consultants help clients enable new digital services and upgrade their core IT.

A digital transformation is a journey—and a prerequisite to modernizing IT. But that doesn’t mean you need to revamp your entire IT architecture to generate meaningful value. There’s a smarter way.

What Is a Digital Platform?

To implement a digital platform, first you must understand what a digital platform is. The characteristics of digital platforms include:

Our Approach to Data and Digital Platform

It has only recently become feasible to build the digital platform and smart business layers separately from the existing core, thanks to multiple advances in SaaS, PaaS, cloud computing , low code platforms, and the open-source community.

We bring unique capabilities and deep expertise to data and digital platform strategy and development. Our data and digital platform consultants—including IT architects, data integration and migration experts, and technology and cloud specialists—work with clients on:

Our Solutions for Digital Platforms:

BCG’s proprietary digital maturity assessments enable companies to benchmark against peers and develop a rock-solid data and digital platform strategy.

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BCG’s Digital Acceleration Index  enables companies to conduct a quick, objective, outside-in assessment of their current  digital maturity  compared with peers.

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BCG’s data capability maturity survey  assesses seven data capabilities to help companies design better digital strategies and compete more effectively as data-driven organizations.

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BCG’s rapid assessment of data and digital platform architecture  offers a high-impact, two-week exercise to identify technology gaps that must be addressed to achieve data and digital platform excellence.

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BCG’s data governance maturity assessment  informs actions and priorities to further mature data governance capabilities.

Our Work with Clients on Data and Digital Platforms

We have helped many of our clients build and realize the benefits of digital platforms as part of their digital transformations. Examples include:

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Becoming a Digital Leader in Insurance: Generali Italia's Digital Transformation

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Laying the Foundation for a Successful S/4HANA Transformation

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Quality 4.0

Quality 4.0 Resources

Case Studies

Quality 4.0 related topics.

Quality Glossary Definition: Quality 4.0

Also called: Industry 4.0, digital transformation

Technological advances of the past decade have resulted in a new industrial revolution often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution or "Industry 4.0." It’s a revolution driven by the exponential growth of disruptive technologies and the changes those technologies are bringing to the workplace, the workforce, and the markets organizations serve.

"Quality 4.0" is a term that references the future of quality and organizational excellence  within the context of Industry 4.0. Quality professionals can play a vital role in leading their organizations to apply proven quality disciplines to new, digital, and disruptive technologies.

Visit ASQ TV for more videos about Quality 4.0 .

The Evolution of Quality 4.0

During the first industrial revolution (late 1700s and early 1800s), innovations in steam and water power made it possible for production facilities to scale up and expand potential production locations. Before then, manufacturing facilities had to be constructed along rivers so waterwheels could be used to generate power.

By the late 1800s, the discovery of electricity and development of infrastructure enabled engineers to build machinery for mass production. Iron ore production increased, enabling machines themselves to be mass produced. In the United States, the expansion of railways made it easier to obtain supplies and deliver finished goods.

The widespread availability of reliable power sparked a renaissance in computing. Toward the end of World War II— around the time when ASQ (then ASQC) was formed —digital computing started to emerge from its analog roots, first with mainframes, then client-server computing and PCs, followed by the advent of the internet and early e-commerce sites. The third industrial revolution came at the end of the 1960s with the invention of the programmable logic controller. This made it possible to automate processes, such as filling and reloading tanks, turning engines on and off, and controlling sequences of events based on the state of the process and changing environmental conditions.

Mobile devices and cloud computing led to a convergence of services, as multiple customer touch points (phone, fax, web, and tablets) gradually blended into the single view of the customer that most organizations now have. Just 20 years ago, organizations were barely able to link your phone calls to customer service, emails and web form queries. Now, it’s taken for granted.

The first industrial revolution was characterized by steam-powered machines, and the second by electricity and assembly lines. Innovations in computing and industrial automation defined the third. The fourth industrial revolution brings us machine intelligence, pervasive computing, affordable storage and robust connectivity (Figure 1).

Industrial Advances and the Evolution of Quality 4.0

Establishing and Implementing Quality 4.0 Principles

To achieve excellence through quality is to embrace the future of quality. It is paramount that quality professionals help their organizations make the vital connection between quality excellence and their ability to thrive in disruption, using quality principles to enable transformation and growth.

Quality 4.0 is more than technology. It’s a new way for quality professionals to manage quality with the digital tools available today and understanding how to apply them and achieve excellence through quality. By speaking the digital language and making the case for quality in disruption, quality professionals can elevate their role from enforcers to navigators to successfully guide organizations through digital disruption and toward excellence.

As more work is automated the need for flawless processes remains the same, if not more important. Existing processes will be broken and the need to educate the next generation of workers to implement new processes and strategies will be vital to not only the quality professional but also business operations. Quality is a vital link and should be included at the strategic level for sustainability during digital transformation.

Technology is growing 10 times faster than it used to, and organizations’ platforms, such as processes, systems, data, operations and governance, must keep pace. Technology also is a great leveler because it gives any individual with the right idea and intent the capability that previously was available only to large organizations. Quality professionals must move from data analyst roles to data wrangler roles by engaging with new technologies, understanding these technologic advancements and the potential outputs they create, and determining how and when to use them.

Quality 4.0 Tools

Deploying an organization’s digital strategy won’t be without hiccups. There will be some common challenges that cut across all industries and digital maturity levels, and others that are specific to an organization. In addition to the timeless and well-known quality tools and principles , the Quality 4.0 tools below should be leveraged to alleviate these challenges when implementing and deploying systems to support digital transformation.

The Ecosystem of Quality 4.0 Tools

Quality 4.0 Value Propositions

New technology should always be introduced with a clear articulation of the desired benefits it will deliver and, sometimes, how it will happen. Value propositions for Quality 4.0 initiatives fall into six categories, listed in order of significance:

Quality professionals are perfectly positioned to propose and lead digital transformation initiatives because they have deep skills in:

ASQ and BCG Quality 4.0 Study

In 2018, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) invited ASQ to partner in a study exploring Quality 4.0, focused primarily on the manufacturing sector in the U.S. and Germany. The study sought professionals’ perceptions of skills needed to implement Quality 4.0, obstacles to implementing, and cases for the use of digital quality management.

The study responses revealed five key themes:

Quality 4.0 Initiative Implementation Rates

bcg digital transformation case study

Start Fast, Design for Scale

In the journey towards implementing Quality 4.0 initiatives, the ASQ-BCG study recommends that organizations should start fast and design for scale (Figure 6):

Start Fast, Design for Scale

You can also search articles , case studies , and publications  for Quality 4.0 resources.

Digital Transformation

Connected, Intelligent, Automated: The Definitive Guide to Digital Transformation and Quality 4.0

Data Integrity And Compliance

Quality Experience Telemetry

NEW Smart Cities

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Unleash Quality

Lean Six Sigma In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence

Data Quality: Dimensions, Measurement, Strategy, Management, and Governance

Make the Connection ( Quality Progress ) Quality control is integral to optimizing supply chain efficiencies. Quality 4.0 takes quality control to another level, aligning quality management practices with Industry 4.0 technologies to optimize the bottom line of the entire supply chain.

Preparing for The Revolution ( Quality Progress ) In quality, as in any field affected by AI, education and training will be critical for adaptation. In the whole economy, there is a race between education and jobs lost to technology. Here’s how to adapt to the fast-approaching workplace transformation.

Data Quality and Data Quality Dimensions ( Software Quality Professional ) This article summarizes the case for data quality, discusses the different data quality dimensions and their role in ensuring quality, and the central role data quality plays in ensuring quality and compliance in the digital age.

Expert Perspectives on the Future of The Quality Profession and its Practitioners ( Journal for Quality and Participation ) The focus groups and survey that were conducted by ASQ and IAQ invited participants to share their perspectives regarding quality practices and the professionals who lead their application.

Data Quality Management for Industry 4.0: A Survey ( Software Quality Professional ) This article surveys 51 papers to identify how select applications of Industry 4.0 technologies can be impacted by data quality. The authors identified relevant characteristics and frameworks that reduce the potential for bad or poor data.

Quality in Chatbots and Intelligent Conversational Agents ( Software Quality Professional ) This paper presents a review of quality attributes as they relate to the contemporary issue of chatbot development and implementation. A quality assessment method based on these attributes and the analytic hierarchy process is proposed and examined.

The Changing Role of Quality in the Future: Required Competencies for Quality Professionals to Succeed ( Journal for Quality and Participation ) A look at the results from 2016 research studies to gauge professional opinions on the future of quality.

Virtual Reality For Quality (PDF) Virtual reality applications help in connecting the processes, problems, and knowledge beyond geographies. Sunil Kaushik, freelance Six Sigma trainer and consultant, created a 360-degree virtual classroom and students then used their smartphones and Google Cardboard to view the virtual environment.

Adapted from " Let’s Get Digital " ( Quality Progress ), " The Ascent of Quality 4.0 " ( Quality Progress ), and " Ahead of the Curve " ( Quality Progress ). Quality 4.0 study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), American Society for Quality (ASQ), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Qualität (DGQ).

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bcg digital transformation case study

This course is part of the Leading the Modern Day Business Specialization

Digital Transformation

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Financial aid available

University of Virginia

About this Course

Digital transformation is a hot topic--but what exactly is it and what does it mean for companies? In this course, developed at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and led by top-ranked Darden faculty and Boston Consulting Group global management experts, we talk about digital transformation in two ways. First we discuss the pace of change and the imperative it creates for businesses. Next we provide the context for this transformation and what it takes to win in the digital age. Then we walk through BCG's proprietary framework, which helps you identify key areas to digitize, including strategy, core processes, and technology.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to: --describe the underlying economics of innovation, technology, and market disruptions --weigh the pros and cons of current digital technologies driving advancement --utilize BCG's digital transformation framework as a "how-to" for digitizing your organization

Some familiarity with business is helpful, but not required.

Could your company benefit from training employees on in-demand skills?

What you will learn

The underlying economics of innovation, technology, and market disruptions

The pros and cons of current digital technologies driving advancement

How to utilize BCG's digital transformation framework as a "how-to" for digitizing your organization

Skills you will gain



Michael Lenox


Amane Dannouni


Sonja Rueger


Ching Fong Ong


University of Virginia

A premier institution of higher education, The University of Virginia offers outstanding academics, world-class faculty, and an inspiring, supportive environment. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University is guided by his vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of students from all walks of life. Through these courses, global learners have an opportunity to study with renowned scholars and thought leaders.


Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy.

We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with offices in more than 90 cities in 50 countries. For more information, please visit

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

How technology changes business.

The exponential rate at which technology is evolving creates an imperative for organizations to deconstruct their value chain to gain a competitive advantage. This week, we'll discuss three fundamental laws about how digital information can be processed, communicated, and stored. Then we'll look at how the exponential rate of technological change is driving changes in the industry. You'll also hear from the executive leadership of Pitney Bowes about their ongoing adaptation and transformation of their business.

The Mechanics of Disruption

Disruption is not new, and we can learn from the past how to thrive given the constant disruptions that are the hallmark of the digital age. This week, we will explore the foundations of digital transformation and the nature of the competitive life cycle. We will look at the underlying economics of innovation and technological change. Finally we will explore incumbency and the economics of innovation through the lens of digital transformation.

Digital Trends Past and Future

Change as a constant has never been truer than with digital transformations. This week we will look at the key drivers of digital transformation, opportunities they have already established and the challenges they bring. Then we will explore emerging trends and technologies, what is possible/likely in the future, and currently what we're seeing in practice.

Your Path to Digital Transformation

During Week 4 we tackle the "how" of digital transformation. We approach this challenge using BCG's proprietary framework, which provides a practical strategic model for moving from a legacy to a digitized business. We'll explain the framework's fundamental duality and the different enablers of digital transformation.


The course gives good examples and is useful for the own Company. I could understand much better why several decision were taken. Amane should very detailed and easy tounderstand (even for foreigners)

To have a clear understanding of business strategy pivoting the digital transformation is really helpful. I feel it could be one of the best help to the managers in any kind of organization.

A very informative and in-depth knowledge about modern day requirements and how to meet them while growing your business to meet the demands of the customer and reach business satisfaction.

Really good well structured course with both relevant and very interesting content. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who would like to learn more about Digital Transformation.

About the Leading the Modern Day Business Specialization

The modern day business is a dynamic enterprise, and leading it now needs a conglomerate of essential skills, ranging from design thinking and digital transformation, to product management and IT.

This specialization covers these essential skills and concepts, and what they mean for companies and businesses. It starts with digital transformation, developed at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and led by top-ranked Darden faculty and Boston Consulting Group global management experts. It then introduces design thinking, which provides you with the tools to become an innovative thinker and uncover creative opportunities at every level in every kind of organization. The specialization then switches gears into what it takes to become a product person in today’s digital age, which is a different game relative to what product management used to be. Finally, since now more than ever, companies are investing heavily in IT, the last part of this specialization will cover major challenges within corporate IT, and how to address them with the disciplined use of design thinking.

Leading the Modern Day Business

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?

Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:

The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.

The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.

What will I get if I subscribe to this Specialization?

When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center .

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BCG: Digitally disrupting … or disrupted?

bcg digital transformation case study

Will management consulting be disrupted by AI bots?

In order to understand how the emergence of digital technologies will impact the management consultant companies, first let’s take a look at the value they seek to provide to their clients (aside from making them feel good, as illustrated in the Dilbert cartoon below).

Management consultants according to Dilbert


What is it really that management consultancies like bcg, mckinsey, and bain do anyway.

What are the challenges caused by the digital wave?

bcg digital transformation case study

Source: HBS DIG IT course wrap slide (Apr 20, 2018) – modified by author

The first value-add to be threatened is #1 information access starting with the information that is easily quantified and thus easily shared digitally (e.g., market share data or analysis of product line profitability) [3, 4]. Before the emergence of the internet, consultants spent most of their time gathering data [3]. Now, this is outsourced to companies like GLG (controlling a network of subject matter experts), Euromonitor, and IMS Health that are easily accessible directly to the clients. Best practices are rapidly spread as information flows more quickly across regions and countries.

Pathways to a Just Digital Future

“The Googles, Amazons and Microsofts of the world may take over from the McKinseys, Boston Consulting Groups, and Bains … Consultancies are built for two-by-two matrices. AI’s matrices are a million by a million.” – Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta [8]

Second, AI is becoming being better than consultants at analyzing information to build predictions . Much of the work of consultants do is to gather, clean, process, analyze, and present information gathered externally and inside the client’s organization – work that AI can do much faster and is already performing in the financial services industry [4]. Once AI becomes more advanced moving from information gathering to providing advice based on synthesis data, “prediction” or  value-add #2 diagnosis and recommendation will be threatened too . The more easily quantifiable problems will first be taken over by AI (e.g., “Alexa, how should I allocate my marketing spend to maximize ROI?” ) [4].

When a diagnosis and recommendation task occurs frequently on routine, client’s will have a larger incentive to invest in a software provider   because #3 value-add (on-demand brains) falls away. For instance, to continuously update the customer relationship strategy in software the employee’s invest in learning to operate rather than have a team of management consultants visit once a year to revise the strategy. New specialized software providers are threatening the generalist management consultancies by providing software that integrates with the client’s business and can be used continuously – also after the consultants leave. For instance, provides analyses and recommendations on customer relationships [5], IBM’s DemandTec analyses the client’s data (feeding directly from their data warehouse) to provide recommendations for their pricing strategy [6], GE is developing software embedded in its hardware to provide optimization recommendations, e.g., in operations and manufacturing [7], and even Google recently launched “Advanced Solutions Lab”, part consulting service part tech bootcamp, to help clients who can send a whole team for several weeks to work alongside Google engineers to build and operate customized cloud solutions for the client [8].

Opportunities ahead and how BCG is responding

While both information access and prediction capabilities are likely to threaten the consultancies,  information and diagnoses requiring qualitative data is more likely to stay a value add for management consultants. Alexa could tell you how to allocated your marketing spend, but it will be a harder problem to solve algorithmically questions such as “Alexa, how does my company do a successful post-merger integration?” or “Alexa, what is the best strategy for my toothpaste to enter the Indonesian market?”.  Consultancies can better deliver on these questions due to the difficulty in quantifying this data and the consultancies’ advantage in drawing on experiences with multiple players across the industry (which AI installed at a given client would not be able to gather from others) and their broad experience in handling the “soft factors” (like how to influence people) in the action step on the chart above (aka implementation).

Even if we envision a future where AI can do these things as well, companies first need to transfrom to acquire these capabilities (… until AI becomes intelligent enough to advise on its own implementation). This provides an opportunity for BCG, which is well-positioned to guide clients in their digital transformation due to their (strategy and implementation) experience with companies across industries. Clients will benefit from using a management consulting company over the supplier itself (e.g., Google, AWS, SAP) because the management consultancy can provide objectivity, linking digital transformation to overall business strategy, and knowledge of how other firms in the industry have transformed digitally (across solution providers). BCG has invested in building these capabilities:

BCG Technology Advantage practice area video

BCG Digital Ventures introduction video

On one hand the advancement of AI does give prediction powers that exceed what (junior) consultants doing analyses could do today. However, for clients without the money to invest in their own AI, management consultancies can themselves harness AI by enhancing their #3 value-add “on-demand brains” with AI capabilities in the analytics. For this reason, BCG is investing heavily in building up its analytics capabilities and starting to build proprietary software for cases that have frequent re-use (e.g., pricing strategies).

BCG Gamma introduction video

BCG MSP Catalyst introduction video – B2B pricing tool example


BCG has already played well to their strengths by offering clients advice on their digital transformation. To have success in the digital age, the company must further invest in its Big Data analytics/AI capabilities by further investing in the Gamma team as well as ensure that its generalist consultants receive proper education in the methodologies, so that BCG can truly offer a “holistic” approach to advanced analytics/AI that best fits with the overall business strategy in a way that specialized providers would not be able to.

In addition, BCG must double down on their software offers for clients. If they do not move into this space, specialized providers such as IBM DemandTec for pricing strategy and Google for geospatial analyses are likely to move up the value chain to not only be a data/analysis provider, but also provide the recommendations for overall business strategy. The only efforts publicly available (there may be more under way – the management consultancies are notoriously secretive) were the MSP Catalyst, which is a cloud-based tool for Pricing and Marketing, but software tools are relevant in many other functions such as operations and HR. As data analysis becomes more and more integrated with companies allowing for a higher repetition of strategic exercises (e.g., developing a pricing strategy), BCG will need to develop a broader suite of offerings to go with their consulting, so that they remain relevant for these tasks.

Organizational challenges

BCG has made the choice of keeping its new digital business units BCG Digital Ventures separate from the general consulting staff by locating BCG DV in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles and letting Maya have a separate office. This is a good move to preserve the hoodie-wearing innovative start-up culture that could clash with the suit-wearing consultant culture. In contrast, BCG Gamma and MSP Catalyst seem to be co-located in the same offices as the generalists (the BCG website lists Gamma locations in the same office places), which makes sense given that these units more naturally work together with the generalists as enhancements to the existing business.

For both the junior and more senior consultants (i.e., the partners), BCG should provide training sessions on how best to leverage Big Data and AI analytics on cases, so that the generalist team is fully aware of the new resources at hand and how the offerings can enhance the consulting work. To bring cohesion within the firm, however, BCG could start programs where generalist management consultants for some time can switch to work at one of the digital business units. This would help build a collaborative culture and for the generalist part of the business to better understand how to best leverage the new colleagues.
















Student comments on BCG: Digitally disrupting … or disrupted?

Interesting post, thanks for your insights! I was doubly keen to read this because in a different class that I took this semester, Managing the Future of Work, we had one of the partners of a top consulting firm come in and talk to us and he spent a long time speaking to exactly this question. According to him, with the increase in capabilities of big data, consulting firms will no longer need the swarms of post-college, pre-MBA consultants that they have been hiring to date, but instead, will be able to hire one data scientist with a PhD who will be able to manipulate the data and get the same results that a whole incoming class of post college hires would do. One of the questions that this made me think about, and your blog post furthered that questioning, is what will happen to those potential employees? Are there other functions within the companies that they can do, or would the consulting firms simply not hire them anymore? What will happen to the client facing aspects of consulting? Will the type of person be hired be someone with strong inter-personal skills as opposed to analytical skills?

Great post! Like Eliza, I was also left wondering about the employee composition of a digitally transformed BCG and further- how does this affect how they charge clients? Based on the value proposition for traditional management consulting (the #1-3 you outlined above), if the client is no longer hiring BCG for manual labor of #1 and 2 then how does that change the pricing structure and margins? I worked for a public accounting firm before school which is going through a similar transformation, and I think one of the biggest challenges will be adapting the long established revenue/cost structure of hiring clients.

Hey! Thanks for your comment. Agree – my understanding is that a lot of the firms are moving from a fee-based model to more of a % of value-add fee after the impact has been measured, especially on the types of cases that are more easy to quantify like operations improvement or pricing strategy. As analytics become more advanced to measure impact, I’d think more cases will be billed this way.

This is an interesting post, thanks! As a future BCG employee, I am very interested to see how consulting companies will integrate AI and new digital technologies into the service they provide. One point in your post that I question is whether or not consulting companies are best suited to double down on their software offerings for clients. I think consulting companies should focus on providing strategy or qualitative recommendations and partner with software companies for the implementation. If they focus too much on bringing these software capabilities in house, they may lose their competitive edge and become more like everyone else.

Thanks for the post. As someone entering management consulting as well, it’s certainly on my mind. However, I am not concerned about AI replacing human consultants any time in the near future. AI could certainly supplement consultancies who seek a different angle for problem solving, but will never replace the creativity and critical thinking human consultants provide clients. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, I think it is very wise of firms like BCG to build up their digital practices – a lot of current and potential clients are struggling in these areas as the world around them changes.

Great article and discussion. Certainly interesting to see how client-facing services change with tech advances. While machine learning could replace a lot of the manual data crunching, I believe that human judgement still plays a huge role. As we saw in class, judgement regarding the input data, variables to optimize, and overall interpretation / implementation of data requires experienced business people. Yes, while function of data collection and analyses might be replaced by AI, the role of junior consultants will morph to working with internal data scientists and the client’s own staff to prioritize and shape business strategy. The ultimate value I see is not getting the right answers through data, but being able to ask the right questions. That’s where human expertise is still needed.

Thank you for the post! I completely agree with you that BCG has to disrupt itself or it will be disrupted by the large software providers (and they already have leg-up in the game with their advanced software products). I think in order to keep its clients, many of which struggle with digital transformation too (think large old-fashion companies like Disney, General Mills, Havas), BCG should embrace the role of an educator – be the first (instead of Microsoft and alike) to introduce data-driven solutions to the client, work together to generate best practices and use-cases for the products it has to offer. It will thus build adoption and trust. Finally, looking at their long-term strategy, I believe it is inevitable that BCG will be digital-first. Because of that, they need to start integration already now, and while for the moment it makes sense to keep units like BCG Digital Ventures separate, the company should start blending it with the general practices very soon.

Great post, ABC! Regarding BCG DV, do you know how BCG captures value through that model? Is it also a % of value-add as you mentioned to Haley? BCG DV seems more of an incubator/VC-type business, and thus I wonder if they could capture value by getting a stake in the new business. Since those firms are usually kept separate to preserve their “hoodie-wearing culture”, as you mentioned, it’d be feasible value the company standalone, although exits could only come once the company decides to integrate and “buy out” BCG. With that model, they also seem to be moving towards more of a talent recruiting play, since they need to put management in place once the BCG PMs and developers leave. Anyway, fascinating read! Thanks.

Great post! After having worked with BCG DV, I’m skeptical that the old consulting model can coexist alongside newer models like DV. My experience was that the two cultures did not mesh and the result was a project that did not deliver expectations. I wonder what other steps BCG can take to ensure tools such as BCG DV are more successful. Keeping the organizations separate is one approach, but then you miss out on synergy opportunities such as shared learning. Maybe, to your point, training is the answer!

Great post and also a little scary for all of us entering the consulting world post MBA. I completely agree that there should be some sort of rotation or fellowship where BCG employees can rotate through the digital business units. I think this helps each group understand what type of work is being done and what capabilities each unit has so that they can go to market together more smoothly. I think it would also be helpful to have trainings for all employees on what cabailities each unit has so that traditional BCG employees can spot opportunities to sell work through the digital business units. There could then be some type of benefit like a referral bonus.

Thanks for the post! We spend a lot of time talking about automation of more manual tasks (e.g., manufacturing), but probably don’t spend enough time talking about automation of higher value / higher knowledge tasks like consulting. I think the model, at least in the near and medium term, is for consultancies to transform more into tech-enabled service businesses rather than pure service businesses – in these types of businesses, the solves a bunch of the more manual tasks (e.g., excel data crunching), but isn’t able to operate on a higher level when it comes to insights or judgment. You rightfully mention that a bunch of the input piece of the equation has become more democratized by things like Euromonitor, but as we’ve seen in some of the other data cases, there is plenty of judgment that needs to even go into finding the right inputs to put into the decision algorithm in the first place. I’m also less pessimistic on the decrease in more junior staff – when I was hired into McKinsey after college, I felt much of what I added wasn’t just the manual excel manipulation, but also the thought it took to do the right analyses and put the right information together on a page to show the client – I would have loved for something to make those things more efficient and free up time to do real problem solving!

Great post! I feel very proud to see such an analysis on BCG Digital Venture as an ex-BCGer. But at the same time, I can’t help but compare BCG’s action towards McKinsey’s. As far as I know from some discussions with McKinsey fellows, it is going down a different route, which is to directly recruit many programmers/coders into the consulting team to deliver dedicated solutions to clients, including writing real codes for them. However, as I experienced BCG Digital Venture in the past, they were more like strategy consultants who have business expertise in digital technology. I wonder which model is more effective when we compare the 2 models.

Great post! Industries like financial services are also dealing with similar issues as AI and Machine Learning are used to automate more redundant, mundane tasks and time is freed up for junior bankers to perform more value added services. The challenge comes in the implementation though – as many view their jobs to be at risk. I agree with the suggestion that a rotation within BCG Digital Ventures will help employees understand that their jobs aren’t at risk but instead their role is shifting from simply performing data analysis to instead providing insight and judgment to clients. BCG may also want to consider realigning incentives and reviewing employees based on their use of digital technology in analysis and integration with the BCG Digital Venture team. That way, the team is viewed less as a threat and more as a partner.

Great Post. And given the number of comments, it has obviously piqued the interest of our classmates. I actually think that the digital transformation will actually make the role of strategy consultants more important. Many companies will need to radically reinvent themselves, and in walks BCG. However, i actually wonder whether firms like Accenture and others that specialize more specifically on technology might be well positioned to take market share from the big three. Reading your post made me think back to flashion, and the need to treat data and AI as both an art and a science. perhaps BCG is best positioned to become the artist, leaving the science to others.

Thanks for the post! As someone going into consulting post graduation, I am grappling with these issues and it was great to see your analysis so far. As you mentioned, data gathering used to be an essential part of a consultant’s job, but now machine learning and other techniques make it much more efficient to gather and analyze data without relying on the work of humans. That being said, I wonder how big the threat will be for consulting companies when large data-driven companies such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon have their own consulting arms now.

Thanks for a great post! As someone who’s joining consulting full-time and had prior big data work experience, it was very informative for me to understand better on consulting firm’s take on digitalization. I’ve heard a lot about BCG’s digital initiative – it’s great to learn more about it.

Thanks for an interesting read, Rain. Indeed the widespread application of data analytics and machine learning has upended how businesses approach problems and how and/or they would prefer to hire external consultant to fulfill the job. It would be also be interesting to see how consulting would change its hiring strategies (generalist vs specialist, strategist vs data experts) in light of the change of customer demand.

Thank you so much for this great post. I didn’t know that BCG has such a wide range of initiatives in digital space. As an ex-consultant, I wonder how traditional consulting firms can adopt a new approach to solve clients’ problems. In McKinsey, the firm I used to work for, some generalists struggled adopting themselves to the new approach. For example, while many generalists take a hypothesis-driven approach, the approach by big data scientists are often like “let’s put all the data, and then the algorithm will tell you the right answer”. It is especially important for partners, who worked for the firm for a long time, to unlearn the traditional approach and adopt to a new problem solving approach.

Great post ABC and very insightful comment Taka. As a former consultant myself, who was fortunate to touch on the topic of how to react to this trend with Consulting Partners, I spent countless hours debating the impact on firm culture itself. As it so happens, and often overlooked, these trends will have very significant impact on internal processes and what “business as usual” has been for the better part of the last century. Going forward, it seems that these consultancies will have to renew the “social contract” that links them to their employees. And this is no small feat.

Really interesting! It seems like BCG is doing a pretty good job preparing to “disrupt itself” by investing in the next generation tools and capabilities that you outlined in your post. While I imagine it’ll be incredibly difficult to disrupt itself, BCG (and the other large consulting firms) is likely somewhat uniquely positioned since it has such broad insight into trends and things that matter to companies and customers around the world. The firm would certainly be smart to accelerate efforts to develop these capabilities since you can bet that others will if they sense the opportunity. They must be careful, however, where and how they invest in these efforts, since it is not entirely clear where makes the most sense to focus investment. A lot of resources and energy can be wasted, which could distract the business and make it less effective in what’s already a highly competitive space. I can’t imagine a time at any point soon when management consulting firms will entirely cease to exist, but you can definitely see how AI and machine learning could dramatically adjust how junior employees at the firms spend their time. Likely, in the future these firms will end up being much smaller and provide more specialized advice.

Interesting post! To the “What it is the MBB really do” section I would add: 4. Access to benchmark data. These firms play an important role as trusted aggregators of companies internal and highly guarded private data. Then they share it back with their clients as long as it is anonymized. To achieve this, new entrants and AI powered ones among them – would have to achieve access to these amassed databases. In a way this might be a data barrier to entry.

Great post! I think there may be a bit of an overreaction to the disruption that big data will provide. I think we will still need people to be able to explain and understand the outputs of big data, and consultants will shift towards this. One data scientist may find correlations, but that does not mean causation. Also, there is an assumption that all clients have enough data to leverage these platforms. Having spent some time in consulting, I was amazed at how poorly a lot of very large companies organized their data. I think we’re a ways away from big data leading big consulting firms to recruit only data scientists and not MBAs.

Great post – thank you! My concern is whether management consultancies will continue to use their current business models in the new future of work. If AI and data become increasingly important and the opportunity for consultants’ value add lies in digital transformation, teams need to be more nimble and volume needs to be the larger play. Given the current dependency on human capital, BCG may have a hard time with the very digital transformation it wants to advise its clients on. In addition, many traditional companies have been slow to adapt on the digital transformation front to date. I wonder if BCG’s traditional clients will continue to support BCG or move to more specialized agency services to help with the digital transformation.

I wrote the similar blog about Deloitte. I am more positive about industries’ respond to disruption. They should embrace the mission for being agent of change and making future more evenly distributed. An overarching vision will emotionally and strategically engage everybody in the organization. Aligning the firm around this mission after getting strong buy-in from top executives is critical.

I’ve been interested in how consulting firms are responding to the capabilities of their clients increasing over time as well–as you point out, access to basic information raises the stakes for consultants providing value. In addition, as the digital sphere makes forming companies easier, consultants must find ways to get involved earlier in the company formation process. BCG’s DV acquisition is a good example of this–in addition to using new digital capabilities, it puts them in a very different relationship with clients, as a co-founder and co-investor in new products. McKinsey’s Recovery and Transformation Services (RTS) similarly changes the traditional client-consultant relationship, with the firm acting more closely with the client as an operator in some cases in addition to the traditional advisory role.

Very interesting post and discussion! While you mention the role management consultancies are currently playing in guiding firms through digital transformation, I think it is a little underplayed — my understanding is that this will be a big business area for many years to come, with much of it unaddressable by AI tools. As we saw in several of our cases there are deep change management issues associated with digital transformation (e.g., helping the Flashion pricing staff to accept alogorithmic output/ finding new staff that do). My hypothesis is that management teams will look to consultants to support them on these types of organizational change management efforts over the next several years. Hopefully the consultancies will be able to leverage the insights from these efforts to achieve transformational change within their own firms. Some very interesting points above regarding talent as well. Consultancies are in a scramble to hire/ acquihire data scientist types — while this may not eliminate the need for generalist hires (who will still often be needed to act as translators) it could certainly reduce that need. It will be very interesting to see how the industry evolves over the next several years and who comes out on top!

Thanks for the great post! It seems to me that we are underestimating the brand value of these consulting companies. While information is becoming more easily available, this is leading to new problems like sorting through the wealth of information and knowing which to trust, how to synthesize, and communicate it. It seems to me that consulting firms will still be relied on for information, but more for secondary research than primary. Additionally, projects will likely become less of diagnosis and more around implementation. This will mean consulting firms need more hands on deck, so the fresh college graduates who were getting their hands dirty in number crunching will likely be getting their hands dirty in the field.

Building on MMidd´s and Taka´s comments, I tend to agree that Consulting firms will continue to play a relevant advisory role,IF they are able to adapt to the new technologies and still tackle their clients´ key problems (which might be shifting, for ex. to Digitalization). The key questions for consulting companies, is aimed at the heart of their competitive advantage, and is if their actual pool of talent will be the appropiate one to solve for these new issues.

And I believe the answer to be somewhat balanced. On on side, consulting recruitment practices have allowed such companies to capture some of the brigthest young professionals, many will probably adapt (and quickly!) to these new trends, but maybe this will also open a new window of opportunity (or challenge!) to embrace diversity further and amplify the skills that will be valued in future candidates. On the other side, there are clear capabilities that these companies lack. On this last issue, McK has been playing a stronger hand in acquiring Big Data companies, to step in more aggresively in the Digitalization play. BCG is doing some efforts in the same direction, as seen in this post. Bain, at least publicly, has not yet deployed a very clear strategy on how will it be positioned.

Which consulting company will win in advising on distrupting strategic solutions for digital companies is yet to be discovered. And who knows if new players won´t emerge. What is your bet?

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Digital Transformation & Change Management

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The Transformation Ground Control podcast covers a number of topics important to digital and business transformation. This episode covers the following topics and interviews: An ERP Implmetation Failure Case Study in the UK , Q&A (Kyler Cheatham, Third Stage Consulting) Why Digital Transformation is Dead (Drake Coker, NRP) Using ChatGPT to Evaluate and Select ERP Software (Greg Bennett, Third Stage Consulting) We also cover a number of other relevant topics related to digital and business transformation throughout the show. This weekly podcast series premiers live on YouTube every Wednesday at 8am New York/1pm London/9pm Hong Kong. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, Pandora, or your favorite podcast platform. Register here👇 to be notified regarding new podcast episodes every Wednesday. WATCH MORE EPISODES HERE: —————————————————————— DOWNLOAD MORE RESOURCES BELOW: —————————————————————— 2023 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION REPORT:     SOFTWARE BUYER'S GUIDE:     SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT PLAYBOOK:     DIGITAL STRATEGY FRAMEWORK:     GUIDE TO ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT:     20 LESSONS FROM 1,000 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS:   ———————————————————— CONNECT WITH ME: ———————————————————— YOUTUBE:  LINKEDIN: INSTAGRAM: TIKTOK: TWITTER: THIRD STAGE LINKEDIN PAGE:   CONTACT ME TO BRAINSTORM IDEAS FOR YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: [email protected]   ———————————————————— MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE: ———————————————————— I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness License ID: 9Jj8Vnr5XVA   Crazy by Seal License ID: 5bvWGqMLvma   We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister License ID: QZw8zvNNgex   Your Woman by White Town License ID: ZVAl1Q625m1   Slide by Goo Goo Dolls License ID: KQWwm8YjBRJ   Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai License ID: XMm5qWb7mJy   I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers License ID: OEYQK1G9dL7   You Worry Me by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats License ID: J7BE0vjG20p   Don’t Get Me Wrong by Pretenders License ID: oDp0Br5yg07 Get this and other songs for your next YouTube video at

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