Always at the beginning of spring, Germany feels the digital pulse. We examine how we stand in comparison to other countries and how our technological “ego” can be characterized. Without a doubt, it’s CeBIT time. Surprisingly, the reputation of the world’s largest trade fair for IT – still the world’s biggest exhibition for IT – is not associated with the importance of digitalization in the public debate. One can get the impression that in all branches of industry is digitized after heart failure and basically every industry trade fair will be an IT event in the foreseeable future. Example: the main theme of the Hannover Fair Industry will be, who would have thought, industry 4.0. The IAA is characterized by the discussions surrounding autonomous driving and the corresponding platforms. So what remains of the rest CeBIT?
Digitization is perceived as an opportunity
The Bitkom branch of the industry comes to the fair on time with a study that describes the influence of digitalization on the economy and society. This is why it has at least arrived in the company. According to the study, 90 percent of the executives and board members questioned in companies with 20 or more employees regard digitization as an opportunity. This underlines the fact that the decision-makers’ willingness to adopt technology has once again increased in comparison with the survey last year. Accordingly, three-quarters of all companies now have a digital strategy. This statement has only hit 63 percent two years ago.
A new serenity
Interestingly, the surveyed companies are actually more relaxed when it comes to their digital development. Thus, only one in two respondents (55 percent) consider the digital transformation to be a major challenge for their own company. This figure was still around 70 percent two years ago. Only eleven percent believe that digitization can put the existence of their own company at risk. Two years ago, the share was still about twice as high at 19 percent.
Efficiency strikes innovation in Germany
The fact that the focus of digitalization of German companies is primarily on improving existing processes and increasing efficiency is comprehensible, but not necessarily amusing. This has already been discussed at various points on the Digital Evolution Blog. Only 39 percent of respondents said they were developing new products and services in the course of digitization. This figure has actually deteriorated by one percentage point in relation to the last study. This is where Bitkom President Dirks also comes to the conclusion that companies in other markets such as the USA or Asia are increasingly developing new products and services as well as new business models.
At this point, the already well-established picture of the first half of the digital age, lost for Germany, is being sought. The question remains to clarify why, in spite of the much-evoked relevance of the topic, a once-proud trade fair like CeBIT seems to have no more foot on the ground and lost its identity more or less. It is precisely today that the hour of this fair should have come back. Unfortunately, her pulse is getting weaker.