How are companies currently handling the subject of digitization?

Realignment of corporate strategy to include digitization

Porträt Andreas Wartenberg
(PresseBox) ( Frankfurt, )
Digitization is leaving a profound mark on our economy and our society. Anyone who helps to push through these changes and develops the right business models has the best possible chance of success. Therefore, many companies are currently busy developing and implementing large-scale digitization strategies. These strategies are ‘outsourced’ in different ways. Some companies set up “Digitization LLCs” while others push the issue completely into the lap of the IT department, and thus directly to the CIO. In some companies, departments and teams are established to deal with the issue and implement the necessary projects within the organisation. However, the main focus in all these approaches is usually only on the digitization itself. The necessary integration with the company’s strategy is all too easily neglected in this methodology.

A holistic approach is required
A key prerequisite for conversion to digital is a clear, overall strategy, well-networked measures and permanent responsibilities in the company. A holistic approach that acts as a central theme running throughout the corporate realignment should be the basis for every company that is digitizing.

Digitization has multiple effects within the company

Digitization affects day-to-day business in many ways. For example, there will be new job profiles, internal communication and decision-making processes will change, working times and locations will – in certain cases – become more flexible, the IT structure is realigned and many other areas will feel the clear implications of digitization.

Despite this, the digitization strategy is often only embedded in corporate strategy as an afterthought. In the process, strategic planning and connection with the other business strategies is often ignored.

Within the framework of an overall strategy, all concerned departments can be involved. The necessary projects and topics that can be derived from this, can be decided at executive level and delegated to the responsible departments.

Digitization should be firmly embedded in the company's strategy as a complementary indicator

Digitization should be an incremental part of a company. Currently, key indicators such as growth, number of employees, sometimes corporate culture are set in the corporate strategy by the management. However, the necessary projects and steps towards digitization are frequently only defined and set by the individual specialist departments. The desired attributes of digitization and also digitization performance indicators should already be defined in the corporate strategy. This ensures that no one loses sight of the bigger picture and it is easier to get all stakeholders involved. The result of this is a fully digital workflow, supply chain, etc., and ultimately not just a derivative of prefabricated results from the various departments.

In summary:
digitization must be a top priority. It is important to integrate digitization into corporate strategy. Moreover, during change processes it is important to involve, educate and qualify staff.

Andreas Wartenberg, Managing Director and head of the Business Unit IT services, Hager Unternehmensberatung

Andreas Wartenberg is a Managing Director of Hager Unternehmensberatung and has been an executive search consultant for nearly 25 years, filling management positions in the technology sector and other industries. He set up and led national and international teams before joining Hager Unternehmensberatung as a Managing Director in 2008. He is a leading topic expert in the DACH region in regards to all aspects of technology management and digitalization within all type of corporations.
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