Digitization is not an end in itself

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An article by Hagen Rickmann, Director Business Telekom Deutschland GmbH.

Hagen Rickmann, Director Business Telekom Deutschland GmbH

Hagen Rickmann, Director Business Telekom Deutschland GmbH.

In digital transformation, it is not the biggest that win, not even the fastest - but the most consistent.

There is no doubt about it: the trend that currently occupies companies the most is digitization. Medium-sized companies are no exception. Typically, they operate in business areas where innovation, flexibility and an unconditional focus on customer needs of are fundamental.

Medium-sized companies have proven it many times - and they do it every day again and again. They have the courage to take on new challenges. Even though not every company is yet fully exploiting its digital potential, it is clear to the vast majority: In the future, business success will depend on the degree of digitization.

However, digitization is an end in itself, it should bring concrete benefits: better customer understanding, more efficient processes, lower costs, a completely new business model. Digital transformation, if it is to be sustainable and inspiring, needs a return on investment. A "digital dividend". 

This digital interest rate can be generated in a wide variety of areas, but digital projects that focus on customers are considered particularly promising. As show large disruptors like Uber or AirBnB: their success is not only - and perhaps not even primarily - based on new technologies. But on consistent customer focus. Which product do our customers miss? How do they want to be addressed? Such questions determine success. Whenever medium-sized companies offer their customers real, countable added value, the digital dividend will be most abundant.

And there is prove that digitization pays off. For example, a study by the consultancy “Mind Digital” and Cologne’s University of Applied Sciences (Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln) shows that the degree of digitization increases profits by up to 20 percent on average. For almost 60 percent of companies, digitized business processes are the most important drivers of increasing sales and growing profitability. The "Digital Leaders" achieve the highest growth in sales and profits. Transformation pays off in the form of a digital dividend: more sales and profits, more customers, better processes, easier collaboration, higher-quality products and services.

The path to digital success leads through a clear focus and a clever, pragmatic selection of resources and projects – and most importantly through the right attitude, the desire and the will for permanent change. To make your company more efficient and innovative, over and over again. In the digital transformation the following applies: Not the biggest win, not even the fastest - but the most consistent. Those who drive change most consistently, focus most strongly on the customer and break with traditions most radically. For them, the digital dividend will be the highest.

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