Skip to main content
Back to How we help clients

Digital Business Building

We build disruptive digital capabilities for large organizations, driving lasting innovation and breakthrough engagement.

Businesses today face enormous uncertainty—from changing customer expectations to ever-evolving technology to entirely new forms of competitors. For enterprises to succeed in this environment, a radically new set of capabilities is required: new types of talent, a flexible and innovative operating model, and a dramatically different culture.

We help clients close this capability gap through Digital Business Building. Over the course of 12 to 18 months, we build up digital units or incubate new, stand-alone digital businesses—and then transfer and integrate those fully operational entities into the organization.

Step by Step: Building a Digital Capability

Depending on client needs, we either create a new digital unit for an existing business, or we incubate and ultimately scale a new stand-alone business. In both contexts, we start with a strong mandate for innovation and seed teams with Digital Labs practitioners—product owners, user-centric designers, engineers, agile experts and more—and a strong interim leadership team to operate the new entity.

Together we create a vision and road map. The new digital unit will be the center of innovation, helping to architect the future path of the enterprise.

While firmly aligned with the corporate strategy, the new digital business will be stand-alone in its development of breakthrough experiences, cutting-edge talent, and ultimate path to market.

Building a new capability in a large enterprise requires addressing complex challenges. As part of the effort, we work with both internal and external stakeholders to build, align, and communicate the strategic importance of the new unit. We help organizations share the rationale of building new, in-house capabilities, updating standardized processes like planning and budgeting, identifying the relevant business-performance metrics, and sourcing the right leadership team and governance model.

We recruit the digital talent you need

Digital talent is a scarce resource—and not having the right talent is a major hurdle to innovation. From identifying candidates to hiring and onboarding, we help organizations attract and develop the best digital talent to help turn innovation into impact.

We also take a hands-on approach to building the overall organization’s culture, supporting agile processes to encourage experimentation and creating an environment of learning.

As the new business grows, McKinsey involvement is gradually scaled back—replacing interim team members with newly onboarded talent.

This approach—resulting in a new team, new products or services, and ultimately a new business—allows organizations to operate quickly and stay ahead of a complex digital environment, reducing risk and creating value for their customers every stage. Being a successful “tech” company isn’t about which technologies are used; it’s about how the organization uses technology to benefit its customers, develop its talent, and transform its capabilities.

Enterprise agility

To survive and thrive in today’s world, organizations must adopt more agile ways of working across their entire company.

Featured experts

Digital Partner, Berlin

Markus Berger-de León

Supports digital transformations with the insights of a seasoned digital entrepreneur; leads our Digital Studio in Germany
Digital Partner, New York

Satty Bhens

A leader of Digital Labs, helps clients implement technology practices that accelerate how the business delivers value
Senior Partner, London

Tunde Olanrewaju

Advises leading wholesale- and retail-banking clients on issues of strategy, organization, operations, and technology