Welcome to this week's penultimate news round-up. Now Thursdays are good for something other than midweek drinking!
The World Economic Forum at Davos is in full swing, and prominent consultants are among the Forum's go-to sources for quality analysis and business insight. Among those weighing in this time 'round were McKinsey's Dominic Barton, Bain's Orit Gadiesh (read her thoughts here), and Accenture's Mark Foster. Foster, Accenture's management consulting head, has made a real meal of it, even commandeering a Forbes blog to give his audience a daily play-by-play about the goings-on in Switzerland. Today, Foster discussed the candid keynote address delivered by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, saying "I was struck by his openness about the problems that Russian society is facing as well as his optimism around progress against corruption and enforcing the rule of law." Davos sounds pretty cool, actually.
A new report from Booz & Company should help dispel fears that employer-based health insurance will be longer under the new healthcare regulations. The report, accurately titled "The Future of Health Insurance: Demise of Employer-Sponsored Coverage Greatly Exaggerated," suggested just that; while Booz consultants admit that it will be more difficult for employers to provide coverage, all is not lost. "Our analyses indicate that employers, though concerned about rising premiums, are unlikely to abandon employer-based health plans and force workers to find coverage on exchanges," the report says. "Some small employers may do so, but the majority will continue to offer coverage for a variety of reasons ranging from a sense of moral respon¬sibility to the need to attract and retain talent." Moral responsibility…woof.
Telecom giant AT&T announced today that it would begin offering consultative services to companies regarding the transition to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). Here's the idea: today all we've got is the measly IPv4, which is buckling under the weight of billions of IP addresses and an ever-growing crowd of web users. Soon we'll all be switching to IPv6 (sorry, version 5) to reduce the strain, and businesses that aren't on the new platform will suffer. Somehow. Anyway, it's important enough that AT&T upgraded all of its businesses to the new platform recently, and the US federal government contracted them to do the same. Now, they're offering their services to the business world, and calling it consulting. Fair enough.
For more information:
Davos Notebook: Mark Foster of Accenture (Forbes)
NYT: Prospects for Private Health Insurance
AT&T Advocates IPv6 Preparation for Business
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