Why German Companies Rank Among the Best in the World Despite Deficits in Digitalization
The German economy is dealing with digital transformation like never before. While German companies might proceed at a slower pace than other nations when it comes to digitalization, they are more thorough. In this context, Germany stands out for its industry in particular. It accounts for 26 percent of the country’s economic performance. Here, digitalization is not a new topic. It is often said that there is no other location in the world where people build better intelligent cars and machines. Automotive manufacturers and companies such as Bosch and Siemens are driving the digital change; on the software side, it is mainly SAP, of course. Depending on the respective industry, as much as 50 percent of the value-added chain is attributed to software. And Germany is becoming a Mecca for young start-ups from all over the world.
Allies: start-ups and established companies
The current second wave of the digital revolution differs fundamentally from anything we have seen so far. It is no longer just about converting analog into digital data and making that accessible online. Entire business models, their products, processes, pricing models and partners are being put to the test now. Creativity and entrepreneurship are what is needed here. Established companies are learning from start-ups. In addition to the Berlin start-up scene, which is called the center of the digital revolution by some, unique founders’ platforms such as SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator stand out. The Leipzig-based accelerator is not only used by start-ups but also by established companies, currently some from the banking and automotive industries. Germany’s first business school is cooperating with practice partners and developing new methods and concepts to be able to shape this process more effectively within and among organizations. This allows the companies to experience the opportunities of digitalization based on experience through work with students and young start-ups and, as a result, win over their employees to complete the necessary transformation faster.
Author: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Dean and Chairholder of the Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
more about » Digital Leadership and Transformation