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Defense and Security

Defense and security institutions are under pressure to protect citizens from an ever-expanding range of threats—all while cutting costs, applying innovative technologies, and grappling with new operational challenges. BCG’s defense consulting teams can help them boost their effectiveness and efficiency by combining industry-leading best practices with a deep knowledge base and understanding of the defense and security sector.

For defense and security agencies worldwide, doing more with less has never been more difficult. These institutions must keep raising the bar in an operating environment awash in fresh challenges. For instance, they have to:

  • Manage budgets not just to sustain current operations but also to derive maximum value from future procurements.
  • Extract maximum value from innovative technologies, especially digitization, without disrupting operations or sacrificing security.
  • Compete with the private sector to win talent and keep the best employees on board.

Defense and security institutions turn to BCG to surmount these challenges because of our extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. In fact, we have a history in private-sector work that spans more than 50 years. We excel at tailoring private-sector best practices to our defense and security clients’ unique circumstances to help them achieve impressive outcomes—such as improved equipment reliability, vital operating-model innovation, and significant run rate savings.

How BCG’s Defense Consulting Teams Deliver Value

We bring a powerful suite of offerings to each defense and security client:

  • Acquisition Excellence. Growing supplier margins paired with budget pressures have reconfigured the defense supply chain. Our defense consulting teams bring powerful tools and approaches as well as deep insights into supplier economics—drawn from more than 240 projects—to help government agencies boost their procurement prowess.
  • Digital Innovation. We help defense and security organizations sharpen their competitive advantage by deploying the right digital solutions. These solutions enable them to supercharge their operational efficiency and to harness data analytics so that they can make better and more effective business decisions.
  • Sustainment Modernization. Reinforcing capabilities such as smart maintenance, lean logistics, and strategic optimization, our systematic approach maximizes the availability of public-sector security systems and military industry personnel during operations. To accomplish this, we help clients strengthen their understanding of cost drivers, draw on predictive analytics, and capture synergies through international cooperation to reduce the costs and boost the availability of ready-to-use equipment.
  • Organizational Transformation. Our defense consulting teams support the development of new agencies and the restructuring of existing ones by tailoring commercial best practices to the public sector. Core areas of expertise include organization design, agility, strategic workforce planning, and talent management—all of which help clients attract, retain, and develop high-value defense personnel.
  • Space. BCG is a trusted adviser to the world’s leading players in the space industry across the full value stream and with both industry and government, offering a qualified perspective on critical challenges. We help government agencies stand up new space organizations, commercialize activities, and spur industry while supporting merger and acquisition strategies and public- and private-sector partnerships.
  • Cyber Defense. Our involvement in international standards, policies, and regulations, paired with academic and industry product research, gives us unique insights into the arena of cyber defense. Our cyber services—including our framework for evaluating the effectiveness of cyber defense tools—have attracted attention from the most technologically advanced security enterprises.
  • Artificial Intelligence. BCG is an authority on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the public sector, publishing studies on government applications and benchmarking public sentiment on AI use. Our defense and security clients draw on our expertise to create usage frameworks for AI and to develop implementation and training strategies.

Featured Client Work in Defense and Security


BCG’s Defense and Security Tools and Approaches

Acquisition and Contracting Excellence (ACE) Tool

This web platform enables our defense industry clients to swiftly evaluate proposals and manage end-to-end product procurement. Clients use this tool to uncover and maximize savings opportunities, which average roughly 20%; access commercial benchmarks and best practices; and achieve best-value negotiation success—negotiation preparation processes have been accelerated by as much as 30%.

Contractor Pricing Analysis Approach

We help defense industry clients secure the most reasonable prices from suppliers over time by replacing an overreliance on use of actuals with three alternative best practices.

Cost Transparency Approach

BCG’s four-step cost transparency approach facilitates better budget management by enabling defense and security decision makers to rapidly uncover cost management insights.

Meet BCG’s Defense and Security Consulting Experts

Seasoned Internal Experts

Highly Qualified External Senior Advisers


BCG at the Munich Security Conference

BCG experts are broadening the defense conversation at the MSC to include the economic, environmental, and human dimensions of security in our modern world.

Our Latest Thinking on Defense and Security


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Climate change is affecting the way militaries fight, live, and train. BCG, in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence, explores a sustainable strategy for the future.

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