Advanced Technology

Global Topic
Advanced Technology

How new growth comes out of innovation and disruption

"Our consulting is technology and innovation oriented. Knowledge of the global markets and an understanding of use cases is just as crucial as technology expertise, all of which we have in abundance."
Portrait of Michael Alexander
Partner
Munich Office, Central Europe

New technologies are the key to progress and rising prosperity. Innovations in the fundamental technologies like semiconductors , batteries, sensors, actuators and artificial intelligence (AI) are what made modern achievements such as smartphones, electric cars, robots and other autonomous systems possible in the first place. They also form the basis for new business models driven by data and software. But innovations are often accompanied by unexpected changes in value chains and massive disruption for entire sectors of the economy.

This is precisely where our advisory services come in. Our internationally experienced consultants support automotive, industrial and other technology companies around the world in achieving new growth through innovation and adapting their business model, organization and processes to the new demands they face. Working closely with an international network of experts, our consultants provide the tools, ideas and expertise businesses need.

Turning disruption into new growth

Innovations were mostly specific to a single industry in the past. Today, technological breakthroughs often trigger upheavals across entire sectors. Massively parallel processor arrays (GPUs, TPUs), for example, originated in the world of computer gaming. Yet now they are increasingly replacing industry-specific solutions for things like infotainment in vehicles. And motors and power electronics in electric cars are setting new standards for industrial applications, while low-cost sensors are generating the volumes of data needed for machine learning. The development of highly efficient energy storage systems is driven by the huge demand in the automotive industry, but it is also bringing costs down for other use cases, such as stationary applications or autonomous systems.

The advice we offer our clients therefore centers on identifying how new technologies are impacting business models, strategies and organizational structures. Leading companies in industries across the economy, from automotive and mechanical engineering to electronics and consumer goods to chemicals and metal processing, have successfully realigned their strategy, organization, processes or their entire business model with our support.

Our consulting portfolio focuses on areas like electronic hardware (particularly semiconductors, sensors/actuators and power electronics), embedded software, power generation and storage (especially modern battery technologies and other electrochemical methods), as well as next-gen tech such as quantum technology. We advise our clients on the challenges that these new technologies pose to their business model and on strategic issues around the massive rise in the amount of new tech on the market, as well as new business models.

Case study 1: Electronics and semiconductors

The vision of the cars of the future as data centers on wheels, connected through the cloud, is putting massive pressure on incumbent automakers . Advances in technology development bring new opportunities but can also create bottlenecks and insert new risks into the supply chain. This was demonstrated by the recent chip shortage in the consumer electronics industry and problems with the supply of semiconductors, batteries and raw materials in the automotive industry.

"New technologies bring disruption beyond any technological challenges known to date. We help our clients stay relevant and be successful in a rapidly changing ecosystem and support them as they move to occupy critical control points."
Portrait of Wolfgang Bernhart
Senior Partner
Stuttgart Office, Central Europe

Case study 2: Lithium-Ion batteries and materials - Critical for energy transition and e-mobility

Lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells for distributed power storage and generation, zero-emission and autonomous systems are unthinkable without solutions for the economical energy storage and generation of power.

Lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells play a key role in distributed power storage and generation.

Growing demand and evolving markets present opportunities and risks for the users and adopters of such systems, and signal the need to build up new competencies and partnerships in order to best utilize, develop and deliver the systems, and to take a strong position in the evolving value chains. Bottlenecks we have seen in technologies and raw materials demonstrate that a cross-sectoral perspective coupled with a deep understanding of the technology is needed in order to understand both the demand and the supply side of the equation.

"Companies should include quantum technology considerations in their strategic planning at an early stage."
Portrait of Thomas Kirschstein
Principal
Berlin Office, Central Europe

Case study 3: New business models enabled by quantum technology

New technologies such as quantum technology have the potential to revolutionize our economy and society at large. Quantum computers, for example, can model the chemical processes taking place inside batteries or pharmaceutical event chains and thus indicate starting points for the development of more efficient solutions.

While it is currently impossible to estimate when the technology will be ready for practical application, the majority of companies fully expect ultra-fast quantum computers to have a growing influence on their business models and bring significant changes within the coming decade.

Businesses and their management would therefore do well to keep an eye on developments here and to apply scenario planning techniques to model the potential impacts on their business models and supply chains.

We offer a bespoke portfolio of solutions

Technological innovation forms the basis of many of the world's leading businesses. As a global consultancy, Roland Berger has an international network of consultants spread across regional markets, covering the full range of business, strategic, regulatory and technological expertise. We also support companies and their management with the implementation and delivery of end-to-end solutions.

Many of our projects start by identifying the best organizational framework for the company concerned. The right organization is essential to be able to deal with technology driven disruptions and helps translate innovative ideas into profits and growth. Often, a business will need to undergo company-wide transformation before new business models can be introduced, and we have the change management experts to support this process.

Roland Berger also provides advisory services for investors. In particular, we offer commercial and vendor due diligence, acquisition target search and screening, and support during the M&A process. These projects often require market and technology driven valuations of startups, highly innovative niche players or other companies with new business models and disruptive technologies, which our experts conduct with their specialized skillset.

Reach out to our global experts for more information on our specific solutions and consulting services.

Experts
Portrait of Michael Alexander
Partner
Munich Office, Central Europe
+49 89 9230-8244
Portrait of Wolfgang Bernhart
Senior Partner
Stuttgart Office, Central Europe
+49 711 3275-7421
Portrait of Falk Meissner
Partner
Chicago Office, North America
+1 510798-7550
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