Digitization and digital transformation – an overview of the most important topics of the month of December
08. January 2016
Under the heading of ‘Digitization and digital transformation’, we begin the year with a look back at the latest developments and news relating to the topic of digitization. Keep reading for an overview of December’s most important news and answers to this question: “Which changes took place in the digital world in 2015?”
German firms are faltering when it comes to digitization (Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper)
The German Industry Association (BDI) has sounded the alarm. “Not enough industrial companies are equipped to face the future.” Germany is currently only ranked fifth on the BDI’s innovation ranking indicator. BDI President Ulrich Grillo is not satisfied with this: “When it comes to innovation competition, Germany should aspire to being right at the top,” he demands. What is the reason for the hesitant behavior from the German industrial sector when it comes to digitization? According to Jörg Böcking, Officer for Research and Development at the family-owned Freudenberg Group, it is due to “fear of the unknown and overcautious management.” Yet innovation is also about finding out which ideas have future prospects and which will fail. An important success factor when dealing with digital transformation is the way the management acts. “The key ingredient is innovation,” says Marijn Dekkers, Chairman of the Board at Bayer AG. “The Chief Executive is responsible for the innovation culture at the business.”
2015 was an eventful year for startups in the finance sector. Fintech expert André M. Bajorat, who also opened the ‘Wealth Management 2020’ event that was held in October and was jointly organized by FintechStars and the Berlin School of Digital Business, summarizes the development: “In retrospect, 2015 will be identified as the wake-up call for the traditional financial sector. A strong media presence has made the term ‘fintech’ well-known to a wider audience – and the (yet) giants of the finance sector have woken up.”
Fintechs are now being considered as competitors of established financial service providers and the fintech scene has become more professional and is better networked. At the same time, large players Google and Apple have discovered the topic for themselves and will soon be entering the German market. And it has become evident that offering customers added value is the only way to survive in the long term. It is not enough just to ‘look pretty.’ For 2016, the experts are forecasting a new wave of fintechs that offer solutions to more complex problems in the B2B sector.
With the newly founded FinTechCube incubator, etventure is taking ground in this trend – as confirmed by the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. In December, they reported that etventure subsidiary FintechStars and the software provider FINANCE BASE had created an incubator for new finance business models.
What political changes took place in 2015 in the area of the Internet and networks? German Internet association ‘eco’ takes stock:
“2015 was a year that was full of surprises. There were quite a few digital-political changes, although these were not necessarily always for the best,” says Oliver Süme (eco Board Member responsible for politics and law) by way of a summary. He thinks that the standard regulatory framework is no longer sufficient, considering the advance of digitization. “From copyright to data protection; from security to media regulation – we are lacking basic political concepts regarding the form and regulation of day-to-day digital life,” Süme asserts.
The key decisions identified by eco include the controversial law on data retention, which is likely to be taken to the Federal Constitutional Court again. Other such decisions are the Safe Harbor Agreement and the General Data Protection Regulation, which demand that businesses adapt or change their business practices and IT systems. According to eco, the IT Safety Act that was passed in June must now be put into concrete terms. Other important developments include the regulatory treatment of online and telecommunication service providers, the bill for the Wi-Fi and Telemedia Act and the adaptation of copyright legislation for the new technological framework.
Megatrends for 2016 (t3n)
What developments will be seen in the digital world in 2016? What should we expect and what is already water under the bridge?
According to these forecasts, digitization in businesses will increasingly be being advanced at the highest levels of management. This is in keeping with the etventure philosophy that ‘digitization must be a top priority.’ “In 2016, no Board of Directors or Board of Management will be able to avoid investing in digitization competency at management level. It takes more than just one Internet Representative at the third level down in the company’s hierarchy, or a showcase project with a startup,” says Lars Klingbeil, the SPD party’s spokesperson for net politics. An example of how to approach this central pain point can be found in the cooperation between etventure and management and HR consultancy company Kienbaum. The partnership combines the companies’ respective expertise in digital transformation and people management.
Additionally, 2016 will see a final breakthrough for the area of ‘mobile.’ Jochen Krisch, an e-commerce expert, is sure of this: “Mobile will turn online retail completely upside-down again. And the next Amazon is sure to be a purely mobile player.” Alongside this, the experts forecast further expansion for the area of social intranets, as well as increased efficiency for HR marketing by way of data-driven recruitment and real-time bidding. Virtual reality will also have increasing relevance in our day-to-day lives, “[…] whereby hardware startups will also be offering smart solutions for daily life that will make life easier – and not just by making use of wearable technology.”