What’s your company’s strategy to face the challenges created by the digital disruption?
We’ve asked four of our experts four questions, and their answers might surprise you—and offer some sound advice on designing a sustainable digital strategy for your company. Perhaps they’ll even help you come out further ahead than you ever expected. Here are their answers to the first of the four questions.
Economic performance in Germany could rise by an additional 82 billion Euros by 2020, according to a study conducted by Accenture. However, companies must pursue the development of digital skills in the workforce and the use of digital technologies. How can more entrepreneurs be enticed by digitalization?
Otto Schell: Understanding digitalization also means dealing with the present. With the Internet of Things (IoT), industry and business models are more open, data jurisdictions have shifted, and market positions have along with them. If you believe that you are simply changing your business model, you will fail because you ignore the essential aspects of what I call “social architecture“: The person has already digitalized and mutated from the customer to the consumer. Technology has transformed the product world into a world of services. This must be addressed within this context.
Prof. Peter Mirski: Companies need growth and, therefore, digitalization. The decisive questions concerning implementation must be handled in a structured manner. Based on the corporate strategy, respective corporate policies and sub-strategies can subsequently be applied to specific departments. The understanding of the potential of digitalization of the company can certainly be greatly improved by appropriately training the executives. Digital Leadership Education, if you want to call it that, can make a big contribution to companies developing appropriate forward-looking strategies.
Prof. Dietmar Kilian: Yes, this is the problem… in the next few years it is necessary for all companies to reconsider products and offerings related to digitalization as well as digitalizing their business processes. The big challenge is including employees in this process, along with innovating in the areas already mentioned. Because without employees and their involvement, it will not work out. Meaning that more measures must be taken with employees to bring them on board, as agents of change.
Astrid Menzl: There is a great need for guidance on where to go for the company – especially for medium-sized businesses. An important success factor is that the management takes a lively interest in digitalization and creates a digitalization vision and strategy. This should examine the entire company and not be restricted to individual areas, such as manufacturing as defined by Industry 4.0. In order to enable sustained change, it is crucial to involve employees in the company’s change, creating participation opportunities and making the decision-making processes transparent.
Stay tuned for our next expert interview, revealing the question what it takes for companies to implement for the digital change.
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