What will the next wave of digitisation bring?

The flywheel of the digital revolution keeps turning

Porträt Andreas Wartenberg (PresseBox) ( Frankfurt, )
Meanwhile, digitisation has turned many industries, business models and processes on their heads. Its disruptive effects have already affected many companies and challenged many traditional business models – often rendering them obsolete. New markets are opened and create new winners but also new losers.

‘Uberisation’ can affect all industries

Some players have recognised the opportunities of digitisation and have already kicked off the introduction of digital processes. Other companies are subject to the mistaken belief that they are still on completely safe ground and could never be ‘uberised’ by digital attackers. It should be clear to every company that no industry is immune to the changes that arise in the wake of digitisation. Even established companies should see digitisation as an opportunity and not just reactively defend their status quo.

Digitised – and what now?

Even the pioneers of digitisation cannot rest on their laurels. The next waves of digitisation are heading inexorably towards us, fuelled by the coming technological innovations. There are some topics, such as data analytics, the Internet of things, virtual reality, etc. that will affect many parts of the economy in the near future. The rapidly advancing phenomenon of digitisation is also changing customer requirements, as well as the so-called customer experience, the totality of all interactions between the customer and the respective brand. New technologies and applications can also lower entry barriers to markets or create completely new platforms that can literally shift the hotly contested interface to the end customer. Due to seemingly inevitable technological innovations, even today’s attackers will be technologically ‘overrun’ by newer and younger companies in the next 10 to 15 years. What will be decisive in the transformation of the existing models, as well as in the development of new and innovative business models, will be to shift customer benefit into the focus of all efforts.

Just using new media is not enough

Modern technologies and also intelligent applications must be understood properly so that they can be used profitably. Usually, it is no great effort for tech-savvy employees to learn how to operate and to deploy them effectively. However, the supreme challenge is to find the proper use for these technologies and – more importantly – to create smart and customer-oriented applications that offer added value for customers and users. To be successful in the market and endure, companies need to anticipate changing customer behaviour and needs and proactively take action.

“In addition to digitisation experts and CDOs, we also recommend getting young professionals on board, to take advantage of their thought patterns and digital needs. What’s more, it’s easier for young employees to open dialogues with potential digital audiences in order to retrieve their ideas and to evaluate them within the framework of a smart customer satisfaction programme,” explains Andreas Wartenberg, Managing Director of Hager Unternehmensberatung.

Success factors for the next digital wave

Everyday life is now almost unimaginable without digitisation. It’s here to stay; it is not a passing trend. Companies should treat digitisation as an integral component of their business model and not to subordinate it as some kind of isolated sub-strategy.
The necessity for constant change must be rooted in the DNA of a company. An important success factor for companies hoping to succeed in the long term is to question even successful business models and, if necessary, to have the courage to ‘cannibalise’ your own successful strategies.

Comfort zone was yesterday – digital change is today

Having the right people on board is essential to pave the way for the success of the digital transformation. It is not only a matter of finding or developing suitable digital talents, they also need the necessary degree of freedom to go the extra mile filled with passion and corporate identification. For companies, it is essential to understand that it is not just about acquiring technological and technical expertise, but – much more importantly – also to establish a corporate culture which takes on these challenges and which is consistently exemplified by the actions of management.
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