Olaf Acker

Olaf Acker


Olaf Acker is a Managing Director with PwC Strategy& Germany and leads the firm's Digital Services practice in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has over 17 years of strategy consulting and industry experience serving clients in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Before joining Strategy&, he worked in the interactive media and financial services industries.

Olaf has led a number of large-scale technology and digital transformation programs, primarily in the communications and technology industries, but also worked on digital strategy across industries, particularly in energy/utilities and chemicals. He has a technology background and a passion for leveraging technology to change the way people work, interact with customers and (r-)evolutionize B2B businesses. He is a regular speaker and moderator at technology-focused events and has authored numerous technology-related viewpoints.

Olaf holds a master's degree from the University of Würzburg, with emphasis on business computing, marketing, and English language studies. He also attended the executive education program at the London Business School.

Authored articles

  • The New Class of Digital Leaders
  • 2017 Technology Trends

    The next winning strategies

    What does the increasing power of the Big Five and their Chinese Challengers mean for the technology industry as a whole? Winning in the tech space is no longer simply a matter of understanding a customer need and using a new technology or channel to build a product or service value proposition to fulfill it.

    The Big Five have succeeded by developing a clear strategic identity, the distinctive set of capabilities required to translate their strategy into winning business models, and a well-defined portfolio of platforms, products, and services.

    There is no inherent reason why the Next 20 can’t follow the same playbook, define a strategy and capabilities system based on a strong identity, build a future-oriented operating model and cost structure, and leverage a distinctive talent base and culture to differentiate themselves by customer value. That said, it is certainly not wise to choose a strategic identity that puts one in direct competition with Alphabet, or Amazon, or Facebook. But given the multitude of growth areas, new technologies, and cross-vertical disruptions surrounding technology companies, there is still ample opportunity to define winning strategies and create new multibillion-dollar businesses — even in areas where the Big Five and Chinese Challengers are already competing as well. As long as the Next 20 (and beyond) don’t try to do too much with too little commitment, there is hope and a lot of opportunity.

    As for the Chinese Challengers, they are both helped and hindered by their established dominance in their home market. That market will potentially be larger and more lucrative in the long term than the U.S. market; China already exceeds the U.S. in online customer count and in mobile phone users. But as these companies begin to compete in international markets, they will have to force themselves to build capabilities that are not very important in their home markets. In some ways, they are already rising to this challenge — they are fierce and persistent competitors — but they have not yet demonstrated the type of product or business model innovation that can easily translate beyond China and that would allow them to play the kind of global role that the Big Five play today.

  • Cutting the last cordCutting the last cord: How the "disappearing" SIM card will liberate the consumer and scramble telco roles
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  • The New Game of Global Tech
  • Private equity and digitizationPrivate equity and digitization: The hidden equity story
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