The future in business is digital, and it is also collaborative. If it does indeed, require a new kind of leadership — as previously explored here on Forbes - perhaps it is through new partnerships. McLaren Applied Technologies, the advanced technology, innovation and design company, and Deloitte, the business advisory firm, today announced the launch of just such a new partnership: a collaboration to build data-driven business products.
These products will draw on McLaren’s experience of engineering, sensors, simulation and analytical analysis that was first developed and proven in the ultra-competitive world of motorsport, with Deloitte’s experience delivering large consulting projects globally, said Deloitte. The joint partnership will aim to create products that can provide more than £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in annual benefits for clients by 2022, including savings, growth, productivity and quality improvements.
The two firms aim to hire around 150 new "highly-skilled" employees, most of whom will be based in joint headquarters in central London, expected to open in early 2017.
Healthcare — a sector ripe for a productivity revolution harnessing the best that technology has to offer — is one of the first areas that will be targeted, and investors are likely to be watching closely.
“McLaren is first and foremost a technology company and among the pioneers of collecting data through sensors and then interpreting and using that in clever ways to generate insight. We realize the huge potential for us to take that kind of experience to improve businesses and solve some of their most pressing challenges. So it makes sense for us to partner with a company like Deloitte who have a range of complementary digital and analytic skills, combined with a global network of clients and locations, to scale our co-created data driven business products," said Ian Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Applied Technologies.
Co-creation was covered by me here last year on Forbes as being about both collaborative leadership and survival. McLaren had a deal with KPMG to develop technology-based projects in the past, but it has come to an end.
This new collaboration aims at the start to address complex, industry-wide challenges and improve performance across clients' businesses including life sciences, retail and transport. Its products will combine specialist hardware and software, with sophisticated algorithms, said Deloitte. These will aim to bridge the “physical-to-digital” divide by helping organizations make sense of data, said Deloitte. Examples include include capturing data from physical sensors to create a sophisticated digital record; enriching it using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning; and delivering information in automated and more effective ways.
Initial uses for the products could include improving scheduling, traffic congestion and accident response time in complex transport networks; raising quality and compliance in manufacturing supply chains; or live outpatient monitoring and treatment in healthcare, a statement said.
The timing of the announcement is poignant, given the chaos unleashed in the U.K.'s National Health Service following cyber attacks affecting more than 200,000 people in 150 countries that originated in the U.K. and Spain and spread around the world last week. Deloitte has regularly warned on the lack of preparedness of U.K. business around cyber risk — most recently covered by me here on Forbes.
As for McLaren, the British racing group has recently been preoccupied with shareholder disputes, changes in leadership and poor performance on the track. Late last year Zak Brown, an American sports marketing veteran was appointed executive director of McLaren Technology Group at what was seen as a critical time for the U.K. business.
Building on extensive existing skills in both organizations, the new venture will be looking to recruit additional professionals with experience in product and software development, data analytics and data science, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and AI. While the partnership will be headquartered and initially launched in the U.K., the products created will be rolled out across clients and markets in Deloitte’s global network of member firms over the next two years. This will include target markets in North America, Europe and Asia.
“This partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies opens up a number of opportunities for Deloitte, particularly for our consulting business. Increasingly clients are turning to us not only for advice, but also for digital and physical products to solve their problems. McLaren has a proven record of successfully applying their technologies to real-world business situations across a range of sectors. By combining this with our own global digital advisory experience, today’s announcement is the start of an exciting move for both firms to create revolutionary data-driven products for our clients" said Mike Dobby, vice chairman and senior consulting partner at Deloitte.
McLaren and Deloitte will be hoping this is potentially a three way win: for them, and also for their clients.
For more by Dina Medland, visit her Board Talk blog.