Makroekonomia Archive

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The Most Innovative Companies 2019

This article is a chapter from the BCG report, The Most Innovative Companies 2019: The Rise of AI, Platforms, and Ecosystems.

Users of Google’s email software recently discovered that Gmail was offering to finish their sentences for them. This new Smart Compose feature relies on Google’s expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), along with billions of training examples and the company’s cloud-based Tensor Processing technology, to intuit what Gmail users want to say—often faster than the users can complete their own thoughts.

In a world where computers can compose notes to your friends, it’s hardly surprising that the theme of BCG’s 13th annual global innovation survey and report is the rising importance of AI and of platforms that support innovation. This is not an out-of-the-blue development. Our last few reports have highlighted the crucial role of science and technology in innovation, the impact of digital technologies on both digital natives and more traditional industries, and strong innovators’ increasing use of various internal and external vehicles to uncover new ideas. This year’s survey shows that AI use is rapidly expanding and that many companies are relying more on platforms and their cousin, ecosystems, to support their innovations efforts.

[…]

Two New Forces

Most companies are at least exploring the use of AI, and strong innovators are seeing positive results. Nine out of ten respondents in our current survey say that their companies are investing in AI, and more than 30% expect AI to have the greatest impact of any innovation area on their industry over the next three to five years. (See Exhibit 2.) Four in ten self-described strong innovators report receiving more than 15% of their sales from AI-enabled products, compared with less than one in ten weak innovators. In a companion article, we take an in-depth look at the widening gap in where and how AI is affecting innovation. (See the companion article “AI Powers a New Innovation Machine.”)

Platforms and ecosystems serve multiple functions, including facilitating (and sometimes profiting from) the innovation of others, expanding reach and collaboration, and enabling new multiparty solutions and offerings. Again, strong innovators are more likely than weak ones to expect a significant impact within three to five years and to be actively targeting these areas. (See Exhibit 3.) Strong innovators also show other signs of being focused on external innovation. For example 75% report using incubators, 81% leverage academic partnerships, and 83% partner with other companies. Weak innovators lag consistently in all of these areas.

Platforms are technologies that provide a foundation for developing other business offerings. Numerous industrial goods companies, including Siemens (number 16) and Boeing (number 11), have built substantial platform businesses in predictive maintenance to complement their traditional engineering and manufacturing endeavors. Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM, among others, offer a range of software and services from their cloud platforms.

Ecosystems go a step further and leverage a range of partners that pull together the underlying technologies, applications, software platforms, and services needed to produce an integrated solution. (See “The Emerging Art of Ecosystem Management,” BCG article, January 2019.) The two main mobile operating systems—Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS—have grown into complex ecosystems of telcos, device manufacturers, service providers, and app developers, among others. Rapidly changing technologies and growing customer demand for a highly customized user experience further amplify the need for partnerships.

The opportunity to innovate entirely new revenue streams, business models, and sources of continuing advantage is particularly strong for B2B businesses, thanks to the masses of data that devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) generate. Data ecosystems will play a critical role in defining the future of competition in many B2B industries. (See “How IoT Data Ecosystems Will Transform B2B Competition,” BCG article, July 2018.)

Authors: Michael Ringel, Senior Partner & Managing Director, Boston; Florian Grassl, Partner & Managing Director, Munich; Ramón Baeza, Senior Partner & Managing Director, Madrid

More: www.bcg.com

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The future(s) of mobility: How cities can benefit

Autonomous vehicles, electric powertrains, vehicle sharing, and other advances are transforming urban mobility. Planning ahead can help cities capture the benefits of the shift, from cleaner air to easier journeys.

Trends influencing urban mobility

Fast-moving trends are influencing urban-mobility systems around the world. Some trends, like vehicle electrification and the development of autonomous-driving technology, relate directly to mobility. Other, broader trends will also have important implications. The decentralization of energy systems, for example, will make a difference as modes of transportation come to rely more and more on electricity as an energy source. The following trends are likely to have the biggest impact on the development of integrated mobility in cities.

Shared mobility. Ride-hailing services have grown rapidly over the past few years and now compete not only with traditional car-sharing and car-pooling providers but also with public transit and private vehicle ownership. Investments in ride-hailing companies have taken off, too, more than doubling to $11.3 billion in 2015 from $5.3 billion in 2014.

Autonomous driving. Advances in autonomous-driving technology promise to resolve road-safety concerns, reduce the cost of transportation, and expand access to mobility. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) should turn driving time into free time. AVs could also lead to higher overall vehicle mileage, as people take advantage of their convenience by making more trips or even sending AVs to run errands for them.

Vehicle electrification. Global electric-vehicle (EV) sales have risen quickly, from 50,000 in 2011 to nearly 450,000 in 2015. Purchase subsidies, falling battery costs, fuel-economy regulations, and product improvements have contributed to the increase. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that battery costs will drop below $100 per kilowatt-hour in the next decade. If that happens, EVs should achieve cost competitiveness with conventional vehicles.2

Connectivity and the Internet of Things. The spread of IoT applications into vehicles and infrastructure will generate data with a variety of uses. For city dwellers, software systems can facilitate trip planning and guide AVs based on real-time conditions. Transit authorities could use the same data to analyze the movement of people and vehicles, identify bottlenecks, adjust services, and make long-term transit plans.

Public transit. Cities around the world are expanding and improving their public-transit networks. Adding autonomous features to transit vehicles may reduce operating costs, while new deployment models such as fleets of shared vehicles can make transit more flexible and accessible. Using data from IoT-enabled infrastructure can help planners to add capacity and improve reliability so that mass transit remains competitive with private vehicles and mobility services.

Infrastructure. The United Nations Population Division projects that the world’s urban population will increase by more than two-thirds by 2050.3 Such an influx of people could put more strain on city roads, bridges, and tunnels that are already struggling to keep up with increases in vehicle miles. But infrastructure upgrades that favor public or shared transit and bicycling could reinforce a shift away from car ownership.

Decentralization of energy systems. If the cost of renewable power generation continues to fall, then intermittent distributed generation will produce a notable share of the world’s electricity over the next 15 years. These trends could accelerate EV uptake by making electricity cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable. Residential solar and energy-storage systems let EV owners recharge their vehicles without buying electricity at retail rates. (In some places, it is already less expensive to power a vehicle with electricity than with liquid fuel.) These systems also reduce demand on urban power grids, which helps to lower electricity prices at peak times and to free more capacity for vehicle charging.

Regulation. As advanced mobility services and technologies have penetrated cities, public officials at the city, regional, and national levels have responded by establishing an array of new regulations. These regulations reflect local priorities and stakeholder influences, which have not always favored integrated mobility. National or state-level regulations, such as tax breaks and incentives for EVs, have given a boost to integrated mobility in many cities, but local regulations, such as traffic rules that reserve bus-only lanes on city streets, could be even more consequential. To capture the benefits of integrated mobility, governments may want to consider creating regulations that encourage consumer-friendly developments while also promoting larger public goals, such as clean air and reduced congestion.

Individually, these trends will have a profound influence. As they unfold in tandem, their effects could be reinforced and multiplied (Exhibit 1). For example, AVs would reduce the cost difference between private car ownership and ride hailing, leading to greater use of shared mobility services. This would affect public transit: research shows that the more people use shared transportation, the more likely they are to use public transit. The adoption of both private and shared AVs should also increase mobility consumption, which would favor the adoption of EVs, since they are more economical than conventional cars when vehicle utilization rates are high.

More: www.mckinsey.com

By Shannon Bouton, Eric Hannon, Stefan Knupfer, and Surya Ramkumar

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10 Hot Consumer Trends 2019

 

Technology is promising more advantages than ever before. People want things to be cheaper, faster, more convenient and delivered to their doors at no extra cost.

Supermarkets without checkouts; clothes shops that take your measurements in seconds and carry out custom tailoring in minutes; schools with increasing robotization of teachers and hospitals with non-human doctors; autonomous cars; restaurants with mechanized menus; galleries showing art made by artificial intelligence (AI); and live music performances by algorithmic composers are just a few examples of future possibilities. Many of these examples may seem like science fiction – but they are nevertheless already being realized in society.

Automation refers to processes that are performed without human intervention or assistance. With digital technology, the speed and reach of automation is now increasing rapidly. It may already be common in workplaces, but what will happen when all of society is automated? Will a life made up of more automated processes still feel human? And what will our place as individuals be when everything is smarter, more exact and logical?

Automation lends itself to creating an orderly society, but when conflicting yet autonomous processes happen simultaneously, could it also become more chaotic?

The Ericsson 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2019 reveal that people are experiencing mixed emotions. Almost half of the respondents in the survey think that, for better or worse, the internet has replaced many of the simple pleasures of daily life.

As digital technology spreads throughout society, all these hopes and fears simultaneously filter through consumers’ minds. The perspectives are staggering – and consumer views on a near-future automated society are very much the theme of this report.

Trend 1: Awareables
Trend 2: Smart quarrels
Trend 3: Spying apps
Trend 4: Enforced agreement
Trend 5: Internet of skills
Trend 6: Zero-touch consumption
Trend 7: Mental obesity
Trend 8: Eco me
Trend 9: My digital twin
Trend 10: 5G automates society

More: www.ericsson.com

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Machines increasingly complement human labor in the workplace

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth via contributions to productivity. They will also help address “moonshot” societal challenges in areas from health to climate change.

At the same time, these technologies will transform the nature of work and the workplace itself. Machines will be able to carry out more of the tasks done by humans, complement the work that humans do, and even perform some tasks that go beyond what humans can do. As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will change.

While we believe there will be enough work to go around (barring extreme scenarios), society will need to grapple with significant workforce transitions and dislocation. Workers will need to acquire new skills and adapt to the increasingly capable machines alongside them in the workplace. They may have to move from declining occupations to growing and, in some cases, new occupations.

This executive briefing, which draws on the latest research from the McKinsey Global Institute, examines both the promise and the challenge of automation and AI in the workplace and outlines some of the critical issues that policy makers, companies, and individuals will need to solve for.

  1. Accelerating progress in AI and automation is creating opportunities for businesses, the economy, and society
  2. How AI and automation will affect work
  3. Key workforce transitions and challenges
  4. Ten things to solve for

More: McKinsey Global Institute

Authors: James Manyika is chairman and director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a senior partner at McKinsey & Company based in San Francisco. Kevin Sneader is McKinsey’s global managing partner-elect, based in Hong Kong.

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How IoT Data Ecosystems Will Transform B2B Competition

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers got it mostly right when he said that every company today is a technology company. In fact, every company is becoming a technology and data company, and the consequences of this distinction are substantial.
The real value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies in the data it serves up and the insights that result. Much has been written about how IoT is unlocking significant value for companies by enabling smart factories and connected supply chains as well as the ability to monitor products and deliver new services. But IoT isn’t just changing how companies operate; it’s changing the very nature of their businesses. In asset-heavy industries, the proliferation of IoT data is fundamentally shifting the customer value proposition from goods to services, and this shift is leading companies to adopt new business models that require new capabilities.
The majority of IoT solutions today are built around internal applications such as predictive maintenance, factory optimization, supply chain automation, and improved product design. But to fully capture the value of their IoT data, B2B companies need to think beyond their own walls. By collaborating with new business partners, including industry incumbents and players in other sectors, companies can form new data ecosystems. These ecosystems give their participants access to valuable collective data assets as well as the capabilities and domain expertise necessary to develop the assets into new data-driven products and services.
Data ecosystems will play a critical role in defining the future of competition in many B2B industries. They enable companies to build data businesses, which are valuable not only because they generate high-margin recurring revenue streams but also because they create competitive advantage. New data-driven products and services deliver unique value propositions that extend beyond a company’s traditional hardware products, deepening customer relationships and raising barriers to entry. They also build highly defensible positions, thanks to natural monopolies rooted in economies of scale and scope (similar to monopolies based on proprietary IP or trade secrets). Companies that secure advantaged positions in data ecosystems will generate significant value and competitive advantage across their entire business, including their traditional hardware offerings.

Digital ecosystems—networks of companies, consumers, customers, and others that interact to create mutual value—have enabled some of the most profitable and valuable business models that exist today. (See “Getting Physical: The Rise of Hybrid Ecosystems,” BCG article, September 2017, and “The Age of Digital Ecosystems: Thriving in a World of Big Data,” BCG article, July 2013.) In fact, the five most valuable public companies in the US (at the time of publishing)—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon—are all orchestrators of digital ecosystems. These digital leaders have built platform-based business models that capitalize on the winner-take-all dynamic of ecosystem competition to reach enormous scale and establish dominant positions.

These orchestrators exploit three factors:

  • They scale up rapidly, capitalizing on virtually zero marginal production costs, network effects, and low barriers to geographical expansion (in the absence of protectionism).
  • They take advantage of the “data flywheel effect”; digital ecosystems enable unprecedented data accumulation and analysis, fueling improvements to products and business processes and stimulating further growth and data access.
  • And ecosystems are able to provide seamless and comprehensive digital experiences for customers by organizing business partners on a single platform to satisfy multiple customer needs. They thereby lock in customers and capture a greater portion of their attention, time, and value.

More:

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018

By Massimo Russo and Michael Albert