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Kerstin Balka


Focuses on digitization and implementing transformational change in the public sector

Based in McKinsey’s Hamburg office, Kerstin’s work focuses on digital and technology in the public sector, with a particular emphasis on IT architecture and modernization.

As coleader of the firm’s work in automation, her areas of expertise include digital strategy, enterprise architecture, cloud strategy, robotics process automation, IT automation, and artificial intelligence. Sector experience includes deep expertise in the public and social sectors, as well as defense and IT service providers.

Examples of Kerstin’s recent work in the public and social sector include the following:

  • digital transformation for a German public sector organization, including developing an IT strategy with a focus on customer centricity, driving an agile transformation and establishing agile working methods, defining the strategy for public cloud adoption, and pushing sustainability across the organization
  • scaling an IT services provider for the German public sector through implementing a strategy to deliver substantial growth, including partnerships and outsourcing, optimizing purchasing and procurement, establishing end-to-end transparency and benchmarking, and building a private cloud offering
  • supporting the preparation and execution of one of the top three highest-priority purchasing projects from a European ministry of defense, including preparing and reviewing material for a public EU tender process, and requirements definition both in technical or IT areas as well as process areas
  • developing a sourcing and maintenance strategy for IT systems in defense in a NATO country to lower total cost of ownership, including architectural blueprint for a new core system
  • strategy development for an international child benefits organization
  • designing and implementing a tool for online career counseling and lifelong career planning, including definition of design and IT architecture and implementation of agile development practices

Examples of Kerstin’s work in IT architecture and modernization across industries include the following:

  • assessing the maturity of the current software development lifecycle for a global retail company and determining potential optimization opportunities
  • designing a target omnichannel IT architecture for a global retail company and determining the transformation roadmap to deliver omnichannel use cases such as “click and collect”
  • defining a new digital zero-touch business model for a wholesale software vendor

Kerstin joined the Firm in 2006 in Vienna, and moved to the Hamburg office in 2010.


Unlocking the potential of public-sector IT projects,” McKinsey & Company, July 2022

Chancen für Cloud-basierte Lösungen im öffentlichen Sektor – während und nach der COVID-19-Krise” [In German], McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Automatisierung im öffentlichen Sektor: Bessere Prozesse für Behörden, schnellere Abläufe für Bürger” [In German], McKinsey & Company, October 2018


Hamburg University of Technology
PhD, open source innovation

TU Wien
Dipl. -Ing, technical mathematics