And if yes, what are the reasons?

A 2015 study published by IDC in collaboration with SAP revealed alarming results regarding the “digital maturity” of German companies. According to the study, 20% of respondents were vehemently resisting the changes that go hand in hand with the digital transformation, another one third was currently in an opportunistic exploration phase. Only 18% of the surveyed companies had successfully implemented digital business models in the past.

But what is the market situation today, more than 12 months after the study was conducted?

The insights we are obtaining from talking to our customers are backed by a study published by the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V., an organization that represents the interests of companies in the field of interactive marketing, digital content and interactive added value, in mid-2016. A survey of 100 companies has shown that one in ten companies is still taking a rather cautious approach and that 42% are currently in an exploratory or pilot phase, in which they are evaluating their first digital projects without implementing them on a larger scale. Our experience shows that the reasons for this are manifold. (Click here to read the results of the survey in German)

Ignorance as the primary risk factor

A substantial number of German companies are living in a dangerous dream world: They are under the impression that their businesses will continue to develop like they always have, allowing them to achieve stable growth rates. This misconception is particularly prevalent among small and medium-sized businesses, but there are also many large enterprises that are still hanging on to this opinion. Nokia and Kodak are two of the names that come to mind: Both were the indisputed market leaders in their field years ago – but today?

Unawareness as the second risk factor

“But we’ve already gone digital!” This sounds all too familiar to us and time and time again, we see that digitalization has been reduced to a mere provision of digital business processes. Digital transformation, however, is a process that has implications on more than one level. It affects business models, internal processes, mindsets, organizational structures, and the way companies collaborate with their customers and suppliers.

Customers need to be educated and provided with structured approaches

A company that has come to the realization that it is high time to shape its digital future will eventually want to know how it should go about it.
The first step is to reveal the value levers for the company. These can be divided into three areas that also correspond to a level of digital maturity:

  • Operational excellence through digitalization
  • Digitalization of the customer experience and new (digital) services
  • New business models and cross-collaboration

Companies that have identified their value drivers need to implement a framework that covers the different nuances of the digitalization process. Guided by this information, they will be able to build a structured path into the digital age.

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