Impact & Expertise

Digital Economy

Mobile devices, social networking, cloud computing, and other technologies are profoundly transforming the relationships between businesses and their customers. In this digital economy, consumers are becoming more powerful, and companies find themselves with new avenues for building competitive advantage.

To thrive in such an environment, companies need not only awareness of these emerging technologies but also senior-level commitment to developing organizational responses to them. Winners in the digital economy will be those who are able to operate under new assumptions—and who are willing to explore new approaches.

BCG has extensive experience, tools, and knowledge to help clients succeed in this new age of competition. We have developed a principle-based, cross-functional approach that focuses on the eight key dimensions of success and builds on our deep industry and functional expertise.  

Challenges

Four specific technology developments are driving a tectonic shift in the digital ecosystem: 

  • Mobile. Widespread penetration and evolution of feature-rich, smart mobile devices

  • Social. Ubiquitous social networking and user-generated content

  • Cloud. On-demand, real-time access to supercomputer power and unlimited storage

  • Internet of Things. Convergence between the real and the virtual worlds

These technologies are changing the relationships between consumers and companies. Consumers have more power to gather and process information, connect, and voice opinions. And companies can leverage vast new sources of consumer information that lets them engage customers in a microtargeted way.

To win in the digital economy, companies must recognize that the time to act is now—and that the stakes are high. Executives must be willing to explore new approaches and learn by experimentation, while focusing on crucial questions:

  • Do we have a dynamic digital strategy that generates value and considers new business models?

  • Do we have deep insight into how our customers are using new digital tools?

  • Do we have a partnership strategy with the key technology players to enable us to respond?

  • Does our marketing strategy take advantage of new technologies to enhance our traditional campaigns?

  • Are we fully utilizing online and mobile channels as part of our go-to-market strategy?

  • Do we have the right talent and organization to execute our digital strategy? 

  • Is our IT adaptable enough to support new business models and change?

BCG Competencies

BCG has extensive experience working on digital economy strategies with companies across all industries and regions. Through our deep topical proficiency and a wealth of cross-functional knowledge, BCG can separate facts from hype and help clients succeed in a challenging competitive landscape.

Our digital economy tool kit focuses on the specific areas that are critical to success in this new environment:

  • Digital strategy. Using our expertise in adaptive strategy and business model innovation, we help clients adopt a long-term perspective on digital transformation while ensuring that their efforts remain undiluted and targeted.

  • Digital customer insight. We work with clients to focus on smart segmentation and "digital listening" to effectively aim their messages and strategies.

  • Digital ecosystem. We assist clients in understanding the competitive landscape, find partners that can help them succeed, and incorporate the use of "stacks"— modular, layered, industrial designs topped by a peering community.

  • Digital product portfolio. We help clients leverage their intellectual property advantage and drive advocacy-led innovation.

  • Digital marketing. The nature of the digital economy makes marketing essential. We bring extensive expertise in strategy, metrics, organization, advocacy, and pricing.

  • Digital channels. Our experience in developing e-commerce, m-commerce, and multichannel integration strategies is an invaluable asset for companies.

  • Digital-ready organization and capabilities. Beyond developing the strategy, we help clients define their digital organization structure, implement change management plans, and adapt recruiting and training methods.

  • Digital technology operations. We make use of our extensive functional knowledge base to help companies with data integrity, analytics, and customer relationship management.

BCG has worked on more than 100 digital economy projects, and in addition to our leading-edge digital expertise, the practice is supported by hundreds of functional experts around the world.

Other Publications

  • Whither the Internet in Africa?
  • MORE
  • The Post-PC Era
  • MORE

How Digital Disruption is Transforming Business

Digital disruptionIn this first newsletter in a series, we look at how the focus of digital disruption shifts as technologies evolve. The target has now moved from distribution to the architecture of businesses and industries.more

BCG Digital VenturesBCG brings a first-of-its-kind offering to clients—BCG Digital Ventures goes beyond providing consulting, design, and technology services to form strategic venture teams with its clients in order to create and grow disruptive digital platforms. More

interview with ceo

The Premier Thought-Leadership Resource

BCG.PerspectivesExplore the latest cutting-edge thinking on business and management issues. bcgperspectives.com

Impact Stories

Find examples of projects BCG has conducted. more

BCG Background

BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. Learn More

Contact Us

Leave a message for the Digital Economy practice or submit a request for proposal. Go