Jun 1, 2020

Technology Consulting Company Profile: McKinsey

Kayleigh Shooter
5 min
We take a look at the consulting company, McKinsey & Company, and what they offer to consumers.

Business Overview:

McKinsey & Company is an Am...

We take a look at the consulting company, McKinsey & Company, and what they offer to consumers.

Business Overview: 

McKinsey & Company is an American management consulting firm. McKinsey has published the McKinsey Quarterly since 1964, funds the McKinsey Global Institute research organization, publishes reports on management topics, and has authored influential books on management.

McKinsey was founded in 1926 by James O. McKinsey in order to apply accounting principles to management. McKinsey died in 1937, and the firm was restructured several times, with the modern-day McKinsey & Company emerging in 1939. Marvin Bower is credited with establishing McKinsey's culture and practices in the 1930s based on the principles he experienced as a lawyer. The firm developed an "up or out" policy, where consultants who are not promoted are asked to leave. McKinsey was the first management consultancy to hire recent college graduates, rather than experienced managers.

Its services:

McKinsey & Company provides strategy and management consulting services, such as providing advice on an acquisition, developing a plan to restructure a sales force, creating a new business strategy or providing advice on downsizing. Its consultants design and implement studies to evaluate management decisions using data and interviews to test hypotheses. Conclusions of the study are presented to senior management, typically in a PowerPoint presentation and a booklet.

McKinsey & Company has traditionally charged approximately 25 percent more than competing firms with an average project of one million dollars. Prices were reduced in the economic slump following the dot-com bubble. According to The Globe and Mail, McKinsey clients estimate that the firm's advice turns out to be poor in retrospect about 10 to 20 percent of the time. A typical McKinsey engagement can last between two and twelve months and involves three to six McKinsey consultants. An engagement is usually managed by a generalist that covers the region the client's headquarters are located in and specialists that have either an industry or functional expertise. Unlike some competing consulting firms, McKinsey does not hold a policy against working for multiple competing companies (although individual consultants are barred from doing so). This has sometimes led to accusations of sharing confidential information or repackaging a competitor's tactics as best practices.

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Digital McKinsey:

Digital McKinsey brings together the best of McKinsey’s technology and digital capabilities—combining our Business Technology Office, McKinsey Digital Labs, and our digital functions into one cohesive organization. Digital McKinsey not only advises but also builds, operates, and transfers capabilities to help our clients using digital technology to transform their businesses. With a team of 2,100 consultants and experts across 60 offices, Digital McKinsey works on key technology topics including IT modernization, IT strategy, agile, cloud, cybersecurity, and digital transformation. We serve a range of companies, from start-ups to global Fortune 100 firms, and have delivered 15,000+ digital and technology engagements at 2,000+ clients. Digital McKinsey provides a common home for technology savvy colleagues who want to work at the intersection of business and technology.

Digital McKinsey combines the firm's long standing pre-eminent technology strategy capabilities with a market leading set of tools and technological capabilities, including the world-class technical capabilities within McKinsey Digital Labs, proprietary tools developed in-house such as Digital Quotient, Horizon 360, and Digital Resilience, and recent acquisitions such as Quantum Black and Lunar. McKinsey is recognized by independent research analysts as the industry leader in digital within Digital Strategy, Innovation, Customer Experience and Operations. We help clients on holistic transformations of the core, with focus on building client capabilities through our Digital Academy and through our build, operate and transfer model. 

McKinsey in the news:

McKinsey has released a 2020 report entitled Diversity Wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey has quickly become reliable source for empirical diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) research. In 2015, the company released pivotal data that demonstrated clear linkages between greater profitability and racial/ethnic and gender diversity within organizations. The 2020 report is the third installment in McKinsey’s series of research that has been aimed at examining the business case for diversity in executive positions. McKinsey conducted the research for this report before the global pandemic of Covid-19 transformed the world of work as we know it. When looking at how companies are navigating the pandemic, the report notes, “companies that already see inclusion and diversity (I&D) as a strength are likely to leverage it to bounce back quicker and they will use this time to seek new opportunities to boost representation and inclusion to strengthen performance and organizational health.” Despite this glaring evidence that DEI should be a priority amidst the global pandemic, the report notes that some organizational leaders have indicated that DEI is a “luxury we cannot afford.” Corporate leadership needs to understand the larger implications and impacts of deprioritizing DEI initiatives—one of which being the widening of structural and systemic inequities for diverse talent. 

Some important highlights from the McKinsey Report include:

·     Within the United States, women make up 45% of the workforce

·     Within the United States, 90% of companies have at least one female on their executive team

·     Within the United States, the average female representation on executive teams is 21%

·     It will take United States executive teams 29 years to reach gender parity

Find out more about McKinsey, here

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

British Army
SAS
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”

 

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