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Business and Technology Insights

It’s Time to Drive Digital Transformation in Germany

 
February 21, 2017

The fourth industrial revolution is powered by digital solutions. Unfortunately, moving to digital world raises IT security concerns that start-ups tackle more boldly than established corporations. New businesses leverage technology to woo customers away from the competition.

In many markets, companies are planning to upgrade their technologies to meet customer expectations as a way of competing effectively and retaining customers. Those that put their plans into action, and integrate their business across functions, divisions, and geographies, will win.

Germanys cautious business culture may have been a foundation stone of the nations place as an economic powerhouse, but in an era of digital disruption, it risks falling behind if it prioritizes IT security over innovation. If German companies fail to achieve integrated digitization, theyll be playing catch up later, and possibly hurt their top and bottom lines.

EU countries must not be too restrictive in how they apply data protection laws or they will risk damaging the development of the Big Data projects, warned German chancellor Angela Merkel at the 10th IT Summitin Saarbrcken.

Seek Transformation, Not Optimization

 

Drive-Digital-TransformationTCS and Bitkom Research survey suggests that only half of German enterprises recognize digitization as a primary strategic focus. Many of them work towards optimizing a single business area instead of integrating the business, which isnt the best way to digitize the business. If you want to lead the way as digital pioneers, you need to plan for and implement new technology across the board. Thats how youll be able to truly foster innovation within your business.

Simply optimizing business functions and processes will not prepare your organization for a quantum leap forward. To truly transform, you need to involve the entire organization on your digital journey. Read our PoV IT Innovations: Are German EnterprisesMaking the Wrong Investments? to learn more about preparing your business for a digital transformation. To lay the groundwork and to get a head start, re-evaluate your business model, your processes, your products and services, how you segment your customers, your choice of communication channels, and even your office layout.

Driving company-wide change isnt easy, hence, digital transformation projects that are initiated by the management have a better chance of success. The survey reveals that 78% of digital transformation projects in German organizations are launched by CIOs or IT departments rather than by the management, and 87% lack a chief digital officer to initiate and manage projects.

Leading Digital Transformation

German enterprises that focus on digitizing their business processes and innovating using emerging technologies such as mobility and pervasive computing, Big Data and analytics, social media, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and robotics, will compete effectively.

If you want to avoid losing your customers, you should ensure that your organization has the right attitude to digitization, and is aware of the need to take action. Those doing so have found that they need to help the management re-think the business model and marry fresh ideas with new technology to create innovative solutions.

A report by BCC Research expects IT security spending to increase by 9% to USD 100 billion in 2018 in the new age of conservative technology adoption. The danger is that companies lose sight of their transformation goals and just focus on what they feel threatens their businessin this case digital security. Avoiding this pitfall is essential to ensure companies become their best digital self.

Dr. Kay Müller-Jones heads Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS’) Consulting Practice in Germany and is responsible for business and IT consulting in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Before joining TCS in 2008, Dr. Müller-Jones had a leading role in the consulting and IT industry. He was the Business Unit Leader at Logica Germany from 1999 to 2003 and Head of Branch at Capgemini sd&m in Berlin for the following five years. At Logica, he was also the Chief Technology Officer at the company’s Technology Competence Center. Prior to his time there, he managed the Berlin start-up Bermed, where he was in charge of product developments in telemedicine. Dr Müller Jones is the author of numerous publications on the latest trends in information and communications technology. He received his degree and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Hamburg.