24 02, 2016

Two Digital Myths That Trip Up the C-Suite

By | February 24th, 2016|Agile & Innovative Organization|0 Comments

This article originally appeared on HBR.org. Most executives I talk to understand very well that digital technologies are permeating nearly every function of nearly every business. And yet many fall prey to two harmful myths. Myth #1: You will die without a digital strategy. This myth is generally accompanied by scary stories, such as how Amazon devoured Sears. But digital technologies are no more strategies than electric power, telephone communications, or any other advanced technology. They are powerful tools that deserve prominent placement in the toolbox. But they should not replace all the other tools — or the skilled strategists who know where and how to use them. In fact, hordes of so-called digital disruptions fail every year precisely because they lack effective strategies. Consider eToys, [...]

18 12, 2015

Where Do You Fall on the Digital Matrix?

By | December 18th, 2015|Agile & Innovative Organization, Blog|0 Comments

In every industry these days—even the most traditional ones—a handful of established companies stand out as the acknowledged digital leaders. Everybody knows who they are. It is often quite clear how they've used technology to establish or solidify leadership in various aspects of their business. But duplicating their success is another matter. Given the multitude of investment options out there, many business leaders aren't even sure where to begin. In an article we published this week called "Anatomy of a digital forerunner," my Bain colleagues Sarah Dey Burton, Greg Caimi and I take a hard look at the five key characteristics these leaders have in common. Our view is that nothing they do is especially mysterious; what sets them apart is their methodical approach to [...]

9 12, 2015

Anatomy of a Digital Forerunner

By | December 9th, 2015|Agile & Innovative Organization|0 Comments

It’s no secret that digital technology has transformed the business landscape in ways few could have anticipated even five short years ago. What’s new is that the technologies and solutions that once seemed far-fetched are rapidly becoming table stakes in most industries. Data, analytics and connectivity are reshaping every sector of the global economy. Amazon and Alibaba have set the pace in retail, largely without owning stores. Airbnb is one of the highest growth brands in hospitality despite the fact that it neither owns property nor operates hotels. Business and retail customers alike have come to expect a smooth, omnichannel buying experience whether they are purchasing a pair of socks or a million-dollar piece of construction equipment. Even the most traditional companies are finding ways [...]

9 10, 2015

Will the Ad Revolution Be Televised?

By | October 9th, 2015|Agile & Innovative Organization, Media, Thought Leadership|0 Comments

Television advertising faces a critical moment of transition. Digital media and, in particular, digital video channels are becoming first options for consumers—and for marketers that increasingly expect television to deliver targeting and measurement capabilities similar to digital. Bain’s most recent research on marketing trends finds that marketers now say television performs worse than digital in the areas they care most about, including targeting, measurement and engagement. Of greatest concern? Digital advertising is even challenging TV’s once unassailable area of dominance: audience reach. This research also marks the first time we have seen a decline in TV’s appeal when we asked marketers which media comprise their five largest advertising channels (see Figure 2). Major brands are shifting ad dollars away from TV faster than most people [...]

20 07, 2015

Five Questions to Shape a Winning 3-D Printing Strategy

By | July 20th, 2015|Agile & Innovative Organization|0 Comments

Additive manufacturing (AM) has finally moved beyond academia and hobbyists’ workshops to take hold in corporate settings. Although AM, also known as 3-D printing, accounts for slightly more than 0.03% of the $10 trillion-plus global manufacturing market, companies ranging from dental implant makers and automotive manufacturers to aerospace and defense firms now use this method to make prototypes and fully functional components. Swiss manufacturer Sonova, for example, uses additive manufacturing to produce thousands of plastic shells for hearing aids daily. Airbus uses AM to produce plastic and metal brackets for jet aircraft. And GE Aviation has invested more than $50 million in an AM plant to mass-produce fuel nozzles for the next-generation LEAP jet engines. In additive manufacturing, physical items are built layer by layer, [...]

17 06, 2015

Three rules for building the modern retail organization

By | June 17th, 2015|Agile & Innovative Organization, Retail, Thought Leadership|0 Comments

Most retailers recognize the importance of combining the best of digital technologies and physical stores to profitably create a seamless and consistent customer experience across channels (see the Bain Brief “Leading a Digical® transformation”). There’s a good reason for this. Their most valuable customers are engaging with them across all channels: store, mobile, social and online. Some retailers find that these omnichannel customers spend two times to five times more than customers who buy in only one channel. But many retailers tell us it is difficult to build the right organization to deliver on their omnichannel strategy. It’s easy to make mistakes that have disastrous consequences. Consider the rough path taken by an early leader in omnichannel. The retailer recognized the need for highly aligned [...]

5 02, 2014

Is your company ready for the Internet of Things?

By | February 5th, 2014|Agile & Innovative Organization, Technology, Thought Leadership|0 Comments

Intelligent cars that drive and park themselves. Retail systems that watch where shoppers linger. Home thermostats that detect the owner’s arrival and turn up the heat. In some ways, the future is already here: each of these applications is already up and running, a part of the Internet of Things. What’s changing quickly is the universality of them, the integration and communication among systems like these to create a new paradigm of pervasive computing. Which companies will provide the hardware, software and services that make these scenarios extensive and real? If the past is an indicator, they may not be the same companies providing them today. We see pervasive computing as a major architectural shift. As in previous shifts, we expect to see the leaderboard [...]