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James Kaplan

Partner, New York
Has deep expertise on how enterprises can benefit from maximizing the use of their infrastructure. In addition, a core member of the team tackling IT security issues

About James

James leads McKinsey's capabilities in global IT infrastructure and cybersecurity, which helps large institutions in implementing cyber-security strategies, conducting cyber-war games, optimizing enterprise infrastructure environments, and exploiting cloud technologies.  

His recent client projects include:

  • an infrastructure performance transformation for a major North America financial institution which will reduce run rate costs by $120 million through lean operational improvements, technology demand management, and improved software procurement
  • a cybersecurity war gaming program for major global financial institution that resulted in enhanced, integrated incident response capabilities
  • a data center strategy for a major North American health care services provider
  • a $300 million core-technology transformation program for a healthcare-products company
  • a $100 million demand-management program for a financial institution, developing the technology strategy for a major Internet carrier
  • a $650 million infrastructure transformation for a major global financial institution

James led McKinsey's collaboration with the World Economic Forum on "Risk & Responsibility in a Hyper-Connected World," which was presented at a recent Annual Meeting in Davos. He has published on a variety of technology topics in the McKinsey Quarterly, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. James is co-author of the book Beyond Cybersecurity:  Protecting Your Digital Business, (Wiley, April 2015). 

Published work

Security as code: The best (and maybe only) path to securing cloud applications and systems,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

Cloud’s trillion-dollar prize is up for grabs,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2021

How CIOs and CTOs can accelerate digital transformations through cloud platforms,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Safeguarding against cyberattack in an increasingly digital world,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

The consumer-data opportunity and the privacy imperative,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Cybersecurity tactics for the coronavirus pandemic,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Cybersecurity’s dual mission during the coronavirus crisis,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Enhanced cyberrisk reporting: Opening doors to risk-based cybersecurity,” McKinsey & Company, January 2020

Securing software as a service,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

Cybersecurity: Linchpin of the digital enterprise,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Critical resilience: Adapting infrastructure to repel cyberthreats,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

A framework for improving cybersecurity discussions within organizations,” McKinsey & Company, November 2017

Hit or myth? Understanding the true costs and impact of cybersecurity programs,” McKinsey & Company, July 2017

Leaders and laggards in enterprise cloud infrastructure adoption,” McKinsey & Company, October 2016

Ten books to make you a better business technologist,” McKinsey & Company, September 2015

Repelling the cyberattackers,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2015

Beyond Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Digital Business, Wiley, April 2015

Why senior leaders are the front line against cyberattacks,” McKinsey & Company, June 2014

Risk and responsibility in a hyperconnected world: Implications for enterprises,” McKinsey & Company, January 2014

How good is your cyberincident-response plan?,” McKinsey & Company, December 2013

Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of application development,” McKinsey & Company, August 2013

Meeting the cybersecurity challenge,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2011

Getting infrastructure offshoring right,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2009

Where IT infrastructure and business strategy meet,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2009


Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
MBA, finance

Brown University
BA, history