strategy+business Fall 2015

Experience the ideas and stories that raise the game for management, written and expounded clearly enough to provide the basis for thoughtful action. Through in-depth feature stories, thought leader interviews, and strategic commentaries, each issue of strategy+business provides an informed global perspective for decision makers in organizations around the world.

United States
PwC Strategy& LLC
6,65 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
13,31 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
4 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
20 years and counting

I keep working at this magazine for four reasons. First, I have to support myself and my family. Second, I enjoy working for an optimistic, growing enterprise, like our publisher, the PwC network, and I want to contribute to that growth. Third, at strategy+business, I’m privileged to work with colleagues who operate at a high level of creative, insouciant savoir faire, putting out an intrinsically cool body of work. I hope and believe that this vitality comes through in everything we publish. The fourth reason is our subject: strategy and business. More than ever before, civilization depends on the effectiveness of business and the public sector. If we can help raise the level of management practice, even in a small way, we make a significant contribution. Since Joel Kurtzman founded the…

7 min
mobile payments: the delay of instant gratification

In October 2014, when Apple debuted its iPhone 6 with an electronic wallet called Apple Pay, people immediately began to wonder whether it would overtake its competitors in the mobile payments business. The company has an impressive track record of releasing products and technologies that quickly disrupt and dominate markets. Nearly a year and well over 100 million iPhone 6 sales later, Apple Pay has emerged as the clear leader — but we’re still waiting for disruption. Smartphones have yet to displace cash or credit cards at the retail point of sale. To put the waiting game for mobile payments into perspective, consider the history of credit cards. They made their first appearance as Diner’s Club Cards in New York City in the 1950s, but it took 28 years for credit…

1 min
competing mobile payment solutions

Apple Pay (Apple) Launched October 2014 Strengths • Has not attempted to supplant any player in the current ecosystem, which has allowed Apple to create partnerships. • Uses a combination of tokenized and biometric security. • Has a strong consumer following. Limitations • Its NFC contactless technology is accessible only to iPhone 6 users. • Disabled by some merchants aligned with CurrentC. • Is not yet integrated with merchant loyalty programs. CurrentC (Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX) 2015 (forthcoming) Strengths • Uses QR codes and scanners rather than NFC terminals. • Is device-agnostic and works with Android and iOS. • Uses tokenized security. • Allows customers to use points earned at one store at other retailers within the MCX network. • Has lower transaction fees for merchants. Limitations • Privacy concerns over CurrentC’s intentions to share purchasing data with developers, app stores, and phone manufacturers may deter…

7 min
the new geography of m&a

Consumer-facing companies have long known that it pays to tailor products for local tastes as they enter emerging markets. McDonald’s offers a McAloo Tikki sandwich in India — a patty made of peas and potatoes. In China, Kraft’s iconic Oreo cookies come with green tea filling. For marketing executives, success is all about understanding the customer. The same imperative holds true for a different class of professionals who are increasingly finding customers in emerging markets in Asia: corporate executives in the automotive and industrial sectors seeking to sell assets or businesses. The volume of mergers and acquisitions is rising toward the peaks seen prior to the financial crisis. Every Monday seems to bring a slew of new announcements of high-profile deals. Historically, the participants in these sales processes have been a relatively…

5 min
vertical integration 2.0: an old strategy makes a comeback

“Owning the value chain” was a favorite strategy in the early part of the 20th century. Companies sought advantage by moving “upstream” to control the means of production that supplied their main business or “downstream” to ensure their path to market. For example, 100 years ago Ford owned rubber plantations, coal and iron ore mines, and even railways. But vertical integration largely fell out of favor when conglomeration became fashionable during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In fact, many industries underwent vertical dis-integration. Today, for example, almost three-quarters of the parts used in American cars are sourced from outside the United States. Whereas computer companies once made the memory and processing chips and wrote the operating and applications software for the computers they manufactured and sold, specialists in chip making,…

8 min
how tech clusters form

Silicon Valley is recognized globally as the birthplace of some of today’s most popular and iconic technologies. Many of its startups have a particular dynamic to thank for their success: the formation of clusters, or groups of companies and organizations that congregate in a region around a particular field. Brett Gilbert, an associate professor in Rutgers Business School’s department of management and global business (and @ProfGilbert on Twitter), studies the formation and influence of these clusters. When a prominent university or a powerhouse company draws other, smaller organizations to its region, a tech cluster forms, supporting entrepreneurs as they develop their own breakthroughs. This model has been observed for decades in the United States. Now, emerging markets such as South Africa are seeing nascent cluster formation. And the success of these…