MGI Research

Internet matters: Essays in digital transformation

| Report

This compendium is organized around a collection of essays by experts from the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey’s High Tech Practice, and McKinsey’s Business Technology Office that tackle the theme of digital transformation as part of our continuing major research program on the economic impact of information technology. This volume also explores how Web standards are evolving, how the Internet is infiltrating all enterprises, and how the Internet is creating new playing fields with “Big Data”, “nowcasting”, and innovative models of competitive intelligence.

The essays are organized into four sections. The first section—The Internet at scale—drills into how Internet technologies at large (that is, the Web, social technologies, cloud computing, etc.) enhance competitive stance, translating into significant macro-economic performance in both mature and developing economies. The essays also consider how those companies that are morphing their organizations to networked-based structures are reaping the largest benefits of this Internet revolution.

The second section—The “Big Data” revolution—looks at how the flurry of data materializing from digitization creates major economic surplus, on top of Internet technologies. This data, provided it is used wisely and with the consent of its “owners”, can be used to build new and real time competitive insights. It has also inspired the creation of new sciences, such as nowcasting.

The third section—Impact on TMT—translates all of the above into case studies from the telecom, media, and high-tech industries. The last section—Outside voices—features interviews with Internet leaders that were originally published in The McKinsey Quarterly.

Expert interviews include: Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt; visiting researcher with the Intelligent System Lab at the Palo Alto Research Center, Brian Arthur; MIT professor, Erik Brynolfsson; Cloudera co-founder, Jeff Hammerbacher; Butler University basketball coach, Brad Stevens; and Proctor & Gamble CEO, Robert MacDonald.