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The Quarter Century Outlook: Booz Allen Offers Four New Ideas for 2024

Technology changes in a day. A baby’s features change in a month. A cityscape can change in only a year. At today’s pace, 10 years can seem like forever, but it’s an important time frame to dream of an idea, develop it into action and experience results that can be life changing to culture, politics and the digital world.

This month, the Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF) celebrates 10 years of advancing provocative thought, and Booz Allen, in the firm’s 100th anniversary year, celebrates its own decade-long AIF sponsorship. The 2014 AIF theme is “Imagining 2024,” and Booz Allen leaders will participate in a variety of panels addressing issues of the next decade during events between June 24 and July 3.

In concert with this theme, Booz Allen is offering four of its own ideas and visions for 2024, touching on topics that are of critical importance to our clients, including cybersecurity, health, homeland security and engineering.

“Every great and impactful development in our society started as an idea, but that alone is only a seed. It is through the nurturing of an idea through discussion, debate, questioning and testing that it becomes fruitful,” said Booz Allen President and Chief Operating Officer Horacio Rozanski. “As a company driven by ideas, we are proud to actively nurture this process through external forums and our own internal innovation agenda.”

Booz Allen senior executives’ new ideas and visions for 2024 include:

Thad Allen, Executive Vice President: A Renegotiated Social Contract with Government

The rise of social media and the immediacy and democratization of global communication has become the sociological equivalent of climate change, irreversibly changing the cultural environment in which we live. By 2024, this change will cause the nation to redefine the implicit social contract about what the government is capable of providing in terms of basic services, law enforcement protections and disaster relief.

There is a growing gap between the art of the possible for government and the expectations of its citizens, one that is becoming more apparent with every website post, cellphone download and lifestyle mobile application. The public is increasingly used to generating immediate response and engaging in immediate commentary and dialogue. The expectation of dinner at the door at the touch of a key extends to other parts of life, including how government services should be provided.

In the case of the recent South Korean ferry disaster, information was generated from multiple sources at the site, while the event was underway, triggering global conversation and speculation. The virtual simultaneous presence of so many global voices influences such critical events, and the recovery and investigations that follow, changing certain elements. Yet, the sheer nature and complexity of such events create firm limits to the ability of government agencies to catch a criminal, intervene in a disaster or respond to a constituent request in the instantaneous timeframe the culture demands.

By 2024, this gap in the art of the possible will force the culture to renegotiate with government its expectation for what can be delivered and the appropriate role of government as a protector and enforcer in daily life.

Christopher Ling, Executive Vice President: Action on Data Will Define an Organization’s Success

The ability to gather data and to use it to predict outcomes is nowhere more essential today than in the effort to protect global infrastructure and priceless intellectual capital from the devastation of crippling cyber attacks and robbery. Organizations that are learning today to use this cyber data and predictive intelligence capability for business decisions are at the forefront of a trend that in 2024 will be the defining factor in an organization’s success across all aspects of its business.

Data analysis today allows a business to forecast better, predict future needs and manage operations in a much more precise manner—and this capability is only going to get more effective and precise with each year. The winners in 10 years will be those organizations that are best aligned and integrated to react to the information to which they have access.

The massive cyber breach at a large national retailer illustrates the need for this ability. The breach was not a one-dimensional crisis; it had legal, financial, technology, operational, brand and other implications. It shows that boards of directors who once focused mainly on strategic planning now must focus on contingency cyber crisis plans, with the ability to draw from data the information needed to make instantaneous decisions that relate to each dimension of the crisis.

In the next five years, the organizations that manage this multifaceted cyber risk well will be in the best position to combat dire cyber threats. By 2024, the best organizations overall will be those that apply this same holistic approach to managing data-based decisions across the board, far beyond just a cyber component. For an automobile manufacturer, the ability to predict demand will be honed much further, and the ability to manage plant production levels and supply chain will be even stronger than it is today. But the successful companies will be those who are equipped to look at the business holistically in the area between demand and production, and make the best decision on exactly how many cars to build.

Susan Penfield, Executive Vice President: Patients Will Set Their Own Medical Objectives for Life Expectancy

In the current U.S. healthcare system, insurers, medical providers and pharmaceutical companies are being held accountable through new regulations and incentivized for their positive contributions to patient health. But what about the patients’ responsibility?

Today, patients engage their providers with problems—say, a chronic illness or broken bone; but, in the future, individuals could set their own medical objectives regarding life expectancy and health to manage rising health costs.

The spread of mobile technologies and electronic health platforms already is increasing the degree to which patients directly engage in their own healthcare. In progressive care settings, patients are encouraged and incentivized to review their medical records, collaborate with providers, and track their own progress in achieving health goals. Mobile health apps, wearables, and home sensors can provide insights for patients about their health and wellness between doctors’ visits. With continued adoption and use, patient generated data could enable personalized healthcare.

Commercially, personal fitness device manufacturers and application developers are delivering their products with accompanying “digital coaching” solutions and social challenge platforms to increase engagement. Yet, today there are limited channels to get connected health information into the electronic health record system. With continued adoption and use, patient generated data, integrated with the electronic health record could enable personalized healthcare.

By 2024, the U.S. healthcare system must find a way to hold the patient accountable by incentivizing society as a whole to become more healthy. For patients, this includes leveraging personal fitness devices and home health sensors to track health as they currently do their finances, setting for themselves a health and lifespan goal, just as they do a retirement savings goal. For the system, it means welcoming the rise of an interoperable platform to engage the patient as a full partner to improve health outcomes and manage costs.

Bill Thoet, Executive Vice President: Auto-Interaction Among Cars and Roadways Will Save Lives

The traffic signal turns green giving you the right of way to cross the busy intersection, and yet as you push the gas pedal, the car doesn’t go. It senses that a car coming from the opposite direction will not stop in time, saving you from a potentially tragic collision. This will be reality in 10 years, when connected vehicles that automatically interact with roadways, traffic signals and other vehicles will be standard, improving automobile safety at a whole new level.

While driverless cars for the average consumer are still decades away, connected vehicles and roadway infrastructure—in the form of sensors that will communicate directly to vehicles—will be widely adopted by 2024, paving the way for the driverless cars of the future. Further, this will bring about a change to infrastructure. For example, city planners could set aside land for a new green space rather than a parking garage because the driverless car may not need a parking spot.

By 2024, many of our country’s states and cities will have enhanced traffic signals and upgraded the highway systems that produce their own data. The result will be a connected network that communicates directly to new vehicles. The synched, data-rich environment will make U.S. drivers safer.

About Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management consulting, technology, and engineering services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs nearly 23,000 people, and had revenue of $5.48 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014.



The following Booz Allen executives are scheduled to participate in panels at the Aspen Ideas Festival. In addition, Festival details are here and details about Booz Allen’s participation at AIF are here.

June 26, 12:00 p.m. (Spotlight: Health program): Kevin Vigilante, Senior Vice President
Will We Ever Get What We Pay For? The Cost of American Healthcare

June 28, 4 p.m.: Bill Thoet, Executive Vice President
Analytics: How Big Data Can Solve Our Most Complex Problems

June 30, 8 a.m.: Joan Dempsey, Executive Vice President
Mega Trends That Will Shake the World: Are We Ready for Them?

June 30, 10:20 a.m.: Karen Dahut, Executive Vice President
How Can U.S. Companies Create and Maintain an Innovative Culture?

June 30, 12 p.m.: Thad Allen, Executive Vice President
Malaysia 370 and Other Tragedies: Rescue, Recovery, and Finding Answers

June 30, 7 p.m.: Rich Wilhelm, Executive Vice President
How the Global History of the 21st Century Might Actually Take Shape

July 1, 1:20 p.m.: Mike McConnell, Vice Chairman
Protecting the “Crown Jewels”: Cyber Attacks on Corporations

July 2, 7:45 a.m.: Thad Allen, Executive Vice President
Report Card: Ten Years after the 9/11 Commission Report, Where Are We with National Security?

July 2, 10:20 a.m.: Horacio Rozanski, President and Chief Operating Officer
[email protected]: Linking Purpose, Productivity and Performance

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