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BCG Technology Advantage, October 2014

October 16, 2014 Comments off

BCG Technology Advantage, October 2014
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Technology continues to disrupt business models and industries. The vast majority of companies see the need to act—to develop their digital agendas, to understand what big data means for them, and to explore, for example, the implications of 3D printing on their value chain. But while there is broad recognition of the importance of technology in today’s business world, many organizations still struggle with the question of how to create value from technology.

This issue of BCG Technology Advantage features insights that should provide food for thought for companies that are looking for answers.

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Technology an Underused Tool in Emerging Market Supply Chains, Finds New Accenture Study

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Technology an Underused Tool in Emerging Market Supply Chains, Finds New Accenture Study
Source: Accenture

Despite the vital role that technology plays in helping companies manage the complexity and volatility in global operations, only 48 percent of the more than 1,000 global companies surveyed for a new Accenture (NYSE: ACN) study use technology extensively in their emerging market supply chains.

Furthermore, 45 percent of the companies from 10 industry sectors sampled for the study, “Supply Chain Success Factors in Emerging Markets,” make only moderate use of technology, automating some essential activities but supporting them with manual processes. The Accenture research also identified ‘supply chain leaders’ from the sample and found that 73 percent of them use technology extensively in the supply chains that support their emerging market presence, versus only 31 percent of lower performers. In fact, nearly three-quarters of the leaders said they had made heavy investments in such automation tools as manufacturing systems, ERP and supply chain systems.

The commitment to technology by supply chain leaders is significant as the study revealed that companies with leading supply chains are more likely to generate stronger growth in emerging markets than those with average or low-performing supply chains. They are more than twice as likely as other respondents (58 percent versus 22 percent) to have achieved growth of 20 percent or more in their priority emerging markets in the past two years.

New report: US metros set to out-perform, led by Portland & San Jose

October 14, 2014 Comments off

New report: US metros set to out-perform, led by Portland & San Jose
Source: Oxford Economics

All of the 7 leading metros in the Pacific region look set to outperform the national economy, reflecting in part the importance of high-technology manufacturing and the information sector to many of them, plus softer factors such as quality of life

The four weakest of our top 30 metros are, perhaps predictably, to be found in the Midwest, where the weight of legacy industries means that Cleveland and Detroit manage to grow by just 1.8% and 1.7% annually in the 2014-18 period. It’s poor comfort that in Europe, those would be average performances for large metros.

There’s also the ever-present matter of risk, with international dangers making it possible that economic growth will be more troubled than we assume. However, under most scenarios it still seems right to expect leading metros to comfortably out-perform the national average growth rate, almost whatever that might be.

Evolution and Revolution: How Insurers Stay Relevant in a Digital Future

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Evolution and Revolution: How Insurers Stay Relevant in a Digital Future
Source: Boston Consulting Group

The insurance industry is on the brink of major technology-driven changes, according to “Evolution and Revolution: How Insurers Stay Relevant in a Digital Future,” a new report by The Boston Consulting Group and Morgan Stanley Research. To better understand both the changes and the opportunities they will create for insurers that embrace them, we jointly conducted a global study that included 50 interviews with senior executives of insurers and technology providers and a proprietary survey of insurance consumers in 12 countries.

The survey findings point to the need for insurers to completely rethink their customer engagement model. Consumers’ overall digital experience with insurers lags that of other industries—particularly when it comes to “moments of truth” such as paying claims. As consumers continue to integrate digital experiences into their everyday lives, they expect these experiences, as well as their relationship with insurers, to become more direct, simple, seamless, and intuitive. Consumers also expressed strong interest in seeing insurers develop innovative products that apply technology-driven capabilities and are deployed close to the source of their needs. Because “digital native” insurers are well positioned to address these consumer expectations and can operate much more efficiently, they present a significant threat to incumbents.

The Open Talent Economy: People and work in the borderless economy

October 14, 2014 Comments off

The Open Talent Economy: People and work in the borderless economy
Source: Deloitte

Talent is no longer a mere business expense, but an asset to be invested in — and measured.

The Open Talent Economy introduces a framework to guide talent strategy that brings together three components:

  • External influencers (the global megatrends, along with regional and industry trends)
  • Talent investments (the strategies, programs, and infrastructure solutions available to an organization)
  • Business performance (the measurable business and talent outcomes of the investments an organization has chosen)

The framework also recognizes that talent strategy isn’t only about your workforce or the mass of available talent, but also about individuals—each at a different stage of their career and lifecycle as an employee. The ways you acquire, develop, reward, and retain these individuals will vary according to the openness of your strategy.

Big Success with Big Data

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Big Success with Big Data
Source: Accenture

Organizations that start and complete big data projects see practical results and significant value, according to a recent study by Accenture Analytics. Those standing on the sidelines may be left behind.

Executives report big data delivering business outcomes for a wide spectrum of strategic corporate goals — from new revenue generation and new market development to enhancing the customer experience and improving enterprise-wide performance. Organizations regard big data as extremely important and central to their digital strategy.

2014 Environmental Finance Innovation Summit (White Paper)

October 14, 2014 Comments off

2014 Environmental Finance Innovation Summit (PDF)
Source: Goldman Sachs

The underlying thesis for investing in solutions that benefit the environment is increasingly compelling, given the macro trends of a rapidly growing population and increased urbanization, the social pressures to more effectively manage the environmental spillovers that come with growth, and the security imperatives of protecting against extreme weather. At the same time, capital flow into environmentally beneficial opportunities is often constrained by uncertainties around public policy, budgetary challenges, and the natural fits and starts of nascent technologies. In response to the opportunities and challenges, a number of innovative financing mechanisms and capital markets solutions are being deployed to scale-up investments in clean technology, energy efficiency, water and green infrastructure solutions.

To raise awareness about these developments and to facilitate dialogue, Goldman Sachs hosted the Environmental Finance Innovation Summit on February 13, 2014. The Summit coincided with the powerful nor’easter Pax, which underscored the importance of the topic at hand. With a group of nearly 200 participants, the Summit provided a forum to discuss emerging innovative financing vehicles, identify obstacles and solutions to scaling up these financing mechanisms, offer policy input, and foster partnerships to drive further progress.

The following paper summarizes key takeaways from the summit.

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