“Ed Booz believed
passionately that he could help companies succeed by bringing them a human
touch: expert, candid advice and an outside perspective on their businesses. He
insisted that “people, not products” were the focus of work. And he knew that
placing the right person in the right position with the right support would
lead to better results than relying on any particular theory, method, or tool.”
(Booz Allen). Management Consulting was developed on the concept that
organizations and companies would further succeed if they could get expert,
unbiased perspective for their problems from an external organization. Booz
Allen Hamilton was built on this concept by Edwin G. Booz in 1914 after
graduating from Northwestern University. According to recent data, BAH employs
approximately 30,000 employees internationally and reported $5.8 billion in
fiscal 2017 with a stock market valuation of an estimated $3.3 billion. They
serve a wide variety of industries with an even diverse set of clients. The
majority of their clients are from vastly different industries such as Defense,
Intelligence, Civil, and Global/Commercial finance, Healthcare, Strategies and
Logistics development, Technology incorporation and Management Consultation
services (Booz Allen). Through engaging in diverse industries and organizations
while successfully meeting their needs, BAH has cultivated talent and expertise
in various avenues. Along with that, they have teams dedicated to strategic
thinking that anticipate clients’ needs and develop solutions and novel
implementation methods resulting in long-lasting relations. Through their
strategic thinking and planning, BAH has improved organizations’ efficiency,
transfigured healthcare, bolstered cyber defenses, tackled global terrorism,
and effectively managed change.

Booz Allen
Hamilton has been around for over a century and has managed to be one of the
best organizations in its industry. Times have changed, needs have changed, and
methods have changed and BAH evolved along with them. Not only did they evolve
but they have succeeded on a global level only becoming more prominent which is
no small feat. They have employed strategic thinking by not solely envisioning
the future but the gap between existing reality and the intent for the future.
BAH stayed ahead of their market and competitors by continuously shaping and
re-shaping their clients’ strategies as needed. By creating strategic thinking
teams, they had a holistic perspective that recognized how singular parts of an
organization influenced each other and developed the ability to customize
solutions to a particular organization and their specific requirements. Due to
that, they have consistently succeeded nationally and internationally. After
learning about the importance of strategy and implementation and how the most
successful organization can fade without proper strategic thinking and
planning, I wanted to examine what and how they have done it. Another factor
that contributed to picking this particular organization is my potential career
path in Strategic/Management Consulting industry.

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Strategic Analysis

               To analyze Booz
Allen Hamilton’s strategic success, it’s essential to conduct a thorough
internal and external analysis. An internal analysis is conducted in an
organization to discover and assess particular characteristics, capabilities,
resources, and core competencies while also conducting a gap analysis. The
purpose of a gap analysis is to determine what tools and resources need to be
utilized in order to move forward from current performance to target
performance. An external analysis examines the environmental factors, new
opportunities, and threats that could potentially affect the organization but
are out of their control. Together, they aid an organization to take advantage
of their strengths and curtail their weaknesses. A SWOT analysis and a PESTEL
framework are two tools often used to evaluate an organization’s internal and
external environment.

               As
Booz Allen Hamilton maintains its position as one of the frontrunners of its
industry, analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will
provide an insight into its existing business environment.  Strong brand portfolio is something BAH has
invested in and is one of their biggest strengths. Because of their extensive
brand portfolio, they have been able to develop an extensive product portfolio expanding
their reach into a multitude of industries. Financial Crimes & Anti-Money Laundering,
Virtual Cloud Defense, Cyber4Sight are just a few of their products that have
contributed to BAH’s overall growth strategy. For example, BAH advertises
Cyber4Sight as “delivers customers the comfort of knowing that our
comprehensive and context-rich threat intelligence enables them with everything
they need to prioritize strategic security decisions and to detect, understand,
and mitigate risks.” (Booz Allen). Through their diversified products
and managed services offerings, they have cultivated a wide customer base
ensuring a consistent growth rate. One of their biggest clients is the American
government and they have secured strong relations with Federal Aviation Administration,
IRS, and the Department of Defense. Along with having a highly reputable and
wide-arching client list nationally, they also have 72 offices internationally
in 4 continents.  BAH also has a highly
skilled and motivated workforce that they have developed through successful
training and learning programs (Fernfort University). They invested a vast
amount of resources in development and training programs ensuring they have a
highly skilled workforce to take on problems regardless of the industry. They have
also created teams in their new Strategic Innovation center dedicated to
specific topics such as cyber threats, artificial intelligence, digital solutions,
homeland security to develop solutions and insights. When asked about the purpose
of it, they said “Among its areas of focus? Developing predictive intelligence
services that include anticipatory cyber threat solutions, protection, and
detection capabilities and the application of social media analytics designed
to provide early identification of trends that would otherwise not be possible
using after-the-fact analysis of traditional data sources.” (Washington Post)

 In order to maximize strengths and minimize
weaknesses, it’s essential to address both sides of the equation. Even though
BAH has a wide product portfolio, they have gaps in the product range which
causes a lack of choice forcing the client towards a competitor to better meet
their needs. Another significant weakness lies in the R&D department. In
the current market, organizations are allocating the majority of their spending
in their research and development departments because they realize the
importance of “investing in new technology and future capabilities which is
transformed into new product, processes, and services. (Incremental Innov.)”. BAH’s
R spending is below the investment average of their biggest competitors
even though it’s above the industry average. Due to that, they can’t compete
with their top competitors when it comes to innovation therefore falling behind
on new product and services offerings.

               Along
with Booz Allen Hamilton’s strengths and weaknesses, analyzing their opportunities
and threats are essential to get an accurate strategic analysis. Even though
the American government and their federal agencies are their biggest customers,
they can enhance their business with long-standing contracts and relationships
with other organizations in the private sector. There are more and more
organizations looking to integrate technology and artificial intelligence and
are seeking outside help. With effective R&D, they can explore and innovate
efficient methods to satisfy this need.  BAH
can also explore emerging international markets in the Middle East and Asia to expand
their customer base and international presence. Though there are many
opportunities for BAH to grow, there are also many threats that have the
potential to affect the organization negatively. One of their biggest threats
is their top-tier competitors: Boston Consulting Group, Bain Consulting,
Deloitte LLP, Accenture, and McKinsey Consulting. These competitors spend more
on R&D than BAH which allows them to innovate and implement faster and more
efficiently. Therefore, BAH could fall behind in the market by not moving fast
enough. BAH’s involvement in international markets pose a number of threats. Since
BAH relies on highly skilled workforce, one potential threat is not having enough
skilled workforce in the international market resulting in poor quality of work
affecting the organization’s name. Another threat in the international market
is its exposure to strict regulations and currency fluctuations (Booz Allen).
BAH must adapt its policies to be in line with the foreign country or they will
be at risk for federal violations resulting in lawsuits. Currency fluctuations
are major as they could significantly affect BAH’s revenue and profits
especially in unstable political environments. After my analysis of strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, I also wanted to utilize the PESTEL
analysis to analyze the macro environment of the organization.

               PESTEL
analysis is a tactical tool to examine an organization’s Political, Economic, Sociocultural,
Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors that could impact the organization.
It’s essential to examine these as they could not only affect the organization,
but the industry as a whole. Especially in international markets, they can pose
operating and legal challenges such as unstable market conditions and currency
fluctuations. Political factors influence Booz Allen Hamilton’s continuing
profitability in a particular market or country. Since BAH is active in many
different countries, they are exposed to many different political environment
and their risks. In order to be prepared for all possibilities, they identify
systematic risks and contingency plans before entering a new market in a
foreign country. Some political factors they consider are “political stability,
importance of military invasion, intellectual property protection and level of
corruption” (Fernfort). It’s important to account for the above mentioned
factors as an unstable political environment can adversely affect the
organization’s success in that area by passing unfavorable legislation and
influencing the economic environment. IP protection is crucial as lack of IP
laws can jeopardize methods, processes, and models unique to BAH. Economic
factors directly affect the business and also indicate the financial condition
of the economy. Supply/Demand, inflation, exchange rates, and recession are some
economic factors that affect an organization’s operations and decision making.
Some factors that BAH considers are inflation rate, interest rate, exchange
rates, and stability of host country currency. For example, exchange rates can affect
profit margins affecting the bottom line of the organization hindering its
growth. “Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation uses country’s economic factor
such as growth rate, inflation & industry’s economic indicators such as
Management Services industry growth rate to forecast the growth trajectory of
the organization” (Fernfort). Sociocultural factors are essential for
organizations as they affect an individual’s interests, opinions, and attitudes
in society. BAH understands its clients in order to understand their needs and
how to best solve them. When entering international markets, they adapt their
marketing techniques and interactions to best suit the population at hand.
These sociocultural factors include attitudes, culture, and demographics as
they could potentially help or hurt in obtaining clients and keeping them.
Technological factors that affects BAH are recent tech developments that are
impacting all sizes of businesses and how to integrate them along with cost to
implement it. BAH utilizes artificial intelligence, digital solutions, to “Develop
predictive intelligence services that include anticipatory cyber threat
solutions, protection, and detection capabilities and the application of social
media analytics designed to provide early identification of trends that would
otherwise not be possible using after-the-fact analysis of traditional data
sources” (Washington Post – Booz Allen). Though environmental factors
affect BAH, they are not as weighted as the rest of the factors. BAH considers
liability and environmental regulations when operating because different states
as well as countries have varying laws. They consider environmental pollution
laws, waste management, and attitudes toward renewable energy (Booz Allen Data).
Legal factors BAH prioritizes in considering are data protection methods and
laws, IP law, Employment law and Patent law. Because BAH is mainly an
intelligence and technology based organization, information is their most
important resource. They take extraordinary measures to prevent data leaks
along with prioritizing non disclosure agreements among employees as their data
is extremely sensitive. Due to their careful consideration of all factors
involved when entering markets, innovating new methods, and creating new
products, Booz Allen Hamilton has had strategic success but they have
weaknesses they need to address in order to compete with their top competitors.

Strategic Summary

Booz Allen
Hamilton has placed themselves in the middle of cutting edge technology. Their
strategy has always been focusing on entrepreneurship, innovation, and solving
the unexpected. Senior Associate at BAH, Chris Holmes, said “The spirit of
entrepreneurism and innovation has been at our core since the beginning. And as
we looked ahead to the next 100 years, we had an opportunity to freshly infuse
innovation in how we approach the market and solve client problems”
(Booz Allen – Insight). BAH utilizes a framework to gather thoughts, ideas,
concerns, expertise and experiences to explore problems and derive solutions.
In 2014, BAH created the Strategic Innovation Group (SIG) consisting of 1800
people to “capture the smart thinking that already existed across the firm,
take the best new and compelling ideas and build solutions around them that
will resonate across the entire spectrum of our clients” according to Karen
Dahut, VP of SIG (Booz Allen – Innovation). 
It was “created with an initial $40 million investment to identify,
nurture and deliver solutions across the spectrum of defense and intelligence,
civil, commercial and international clients, the SIG is a key element of the
firm’s Vision 2020 plan to address new growth opportunities” (Washington Exec).
Some of its highlights since created are: