Where exactly are the issues with digitalization? Everywhere, just about. In almost equal amounts, respondents replied with challenges including the customer experience, pushing innovation the business model, moving more towards a data-based approach and strengthening the backend processes. The only challenge not seen as being as important is the risk of new competitors entering the markets through their digitalization.
These challenges are having a massive impact in particular on the IT-departments and their leadership, on whose shoulders the brunt on the responsibility is falling and in whose budget the majority of the changes are landing. In order to address this, the role of the CIO is changing, but the direction of that change is not yet agreed upon by all. Some of the suggestions are telling in the direction in which companies could, should would move: Chief Process Officer (73% of respondents) would suggest that the digitalization will be achieved through process reorganization, while “Chief Orchestrator” would suggest that the CIO moves to more of a position where they are carefully orchestrating the movement of each instrumental (in this case, department) to create an harmonic outcome, pleasing to the eyes and ears of onlookers (read: shareholders). Another title being tossed around is “Chief Innovation Officer” (very practical, as then no one would have to change the CIO in their signatures!). This title suggests that s/he alone is responsible for pushing forward the digital strategy of the company.
But wait, is the CIO alone responsible for these areas of business expansion and strategic decision-making? If not, who else should be a part - CEO? CMO? Both? More? Much depends on the company itself, its capabilities and needs. External help is also an option, and one that 80% of responders recognized as viable. In German companies, software and IT-service companies play an integral role in helping many companies set and realize their strategies in regards to the digitalization.
MEGA is proud to help companies in Germany and around the world to realize their goals in the digital transformation. We take particular pride to helping companies both map and navigate their transformation in a way that makes sense for them and their business to provide value to all stakeholders in the business and IT. Learn more about MEGA’s Digital Transformation solution in our brochure.
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The Digital Transformation Summit was sponsored by prominent German weekly, “WirtschaftsWoche” and Digital Transformation Consultancy Neuland had an all-star lineup of speakers from the German speaking leaders in Digital, including Google Germany Managing Director Phillip Justus, Digital Darwinist Karl-Heinz Land and German Parliamentary State Secretary for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure, who hosted us at their Headquarters in Berlin.
This one-evening event started off with a number of interesting presentations talking about the state of the digital revolution in Germany, with examples from how Netflix (recently introduced to the German market… yes, we are a little late to the party) is revolutionizing TV, Daimler cars, and Über the taxi industry. A great example shared was the future of newspapers and print media as experienced by the youngest generation: watch this baby experiment with a magazine after using an iPad.. Is my finger broken? she asks herself.
A central theme of all the presentations, and the topic of the panel discussion, was “Adapt or Die” – how can market leaders compete in a new generation of technology? How can they adapt, so that they don’t die. A great example given here was Kodak – market leader in cameras and the first to manufacture a digital camera (1994) – who was not able to change fast enough, or efficiently enough to save themselves from filing for bankruptcy protection in 2012.
The second half of the evening was dedicated to the awards, presented in 3+1 categories: Best Digital Customer Experience, Best Product & Service Innovation, Best Company 2.0 and an extra prize. 
While all of the winning projects are fascinating, I think that two in particular deserve a special second look.
Firstly, as a public institution the KRZ (Kommunales Rechenzentrum Minden-Ravensberg/Lippe; Communal IT Service Center in Minden-Ravensberg/Lippe) would have faced a number of massive hurdles to succeed in their transformation , which involved improving efficiency and customer (city residents) service. Overcoming the bureaucracy which exists for any project done with public money in itself has been enough for many institutes to not even bother entertaining the idea, but they went ahead with a project to simplify and automate many of the tedious things that their “customers” (every city resident) need to do in the system, including reporting damages to public property and signing kids up for kindergarten.
The second project, which I think really deserves some special attention is the Dentist’s Office. If you are anything like me, or the other 100 people in the room with me when the prize was announced, you took a double take when you read/heard that a dentist’s office was nominated for and won a prize for their digital transformation. However, when hearing about how they recognized a problem within their business (running out of space for patient files) and decided to take a digital approach combining aspects of a CRM, DMS and BPA tools to vastly improve customer experience, reduce daily tasks and ultimately transform their business.
Both of these projects can be seen as part of a larger trend of organizations using IT to really impact the day-to-day lives of their customers: KRZ reduced the paperwork and bureaucracy for their residents, and the Zahnarztpraxis Müller Weidmann increased their ability to communicate with their clients. Mark Blosh, VP Research, Gartner recognized the role of the Enterprise Architect in the run up to the ITxpo last year, saying that “"Enterprise architects can provide unique capabilities to help CIOs develop a new agenda for 'hunting and harvesting' in a digital world." I feel that in the case, it is relevant not only to the CIOs, but also in proving real value to all executives. To read more on how the different Enterprise Architecture tools can support your transformation, download Gartner’s latest assessment.
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 Applicants were judged in 8 categories: Innovation, Project Size, Reason behind the Transformation, New Thought Movement in the Company, Transformation of the Value Proposition, Transformation of the Operating Model, Quality of Implementation and the Economic Impact The winners in each category were: Best Digital Customer Experience – KRZ (Kommunales Rechenzentrum Minden-Ravensberg/Lippe) for improving efficiency and customer (city residents) service. Best Product & Service Innovation – DMI (Deutsche-Mode-Institute) for a reconstructed and streamline product process via a digitalized workflow Best Company 2.0 – DB Netze (infrastructure arm of the Deutsche Bahn) for creating a Europe-wide platform to optimize business processes. The extra prize went to Best Company 2.0 finalist, the Zahnarztpraxis Müller Weidmann (Dentist Office) for their project to improve efficiency in their business processes by using a digital formula.
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Two weeks ago, we attended the Gartner CIO & IT-Executive Summit here in Berlin with 200 of the top IT leaders in the DACH region.
The event was an intense two days full of exciting speakers and power networking as attendees tackled the pressing issues impacting IT Strategy in an age of Digital Disruption.
Here is a quick flashback to the top topics of conversations:
Streamlining the IT – the complex application and technology landscape in many companies is hampering their agility. Budgets are tied up in legacy applications modernization and moving forward is about as easy as driving with the emergency brake on.
Data Security & DACH – with some of the strictest data protection laws in the world, CIOs are daily faced with the challenge of implementing cloud, mobile and social strategies, while keeping the back door locked and secured.
Prove IT – “Budgets are tight, costs are high – why do you deserve more money?” Proving the value of IT as a business innovator continues to be a speed bump for many companies in the region.
Stay Competitive – companies need to go digital in order to remain competitive and gain market advantage but the road map is littered with construction sites, detours and dead ends. How to get there is a question still sitting on a lot of lips.
It was very exciting to see the enthusiasm with which attendees were approaching these discussions and if this is any sign of things to come, watch out world – the DACH region is pushing full steam ahead into the Digital World and MEGA is here to help. We offer a comprehensive solution set in IT Strategy Delivery to help companies reduce complexity, drive down costs and risks, add flexibility, increase agility and ultimately align IT with business priorities. Learn more about the solution in our IT Strategy Delivery brochure.
Many thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello and play a round of football in advance of the World Cup in Brazil.
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The sun has come out in Berlin as we are getting ready to welcome 200+ of the DACH region’s top CIOs and IT Executives for this year’s Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit from June 4-5th. In its second year, this event is proving to be one of the top spots for industry leaders in the German speaking countries to meet and discuss the latest trends in IT Strategy. Hot on the agenda this year are topics relevant to the managing and the embracing of disruptive forces in the face of a changing business environment. The big questions on everyone’s lips are: how do I, as a CIO plan for the unknown?; how do I prove what I want is a necessity & back it up with facts?; how do I streamline my department’s activities without losing agility or business alignment? and how can I use the IT to drive business growth?. The forces convening on companies today: cloud, mobile, social etc. present an unprecedented opportunity for organizations looking to drive head on into the digital world, but the risks, the “construction zones”, on the way need to be navigated with care to avoid a fiery crash. With leading analysts reporting that an over representative portion of digital transformations fail to reach completion and an even larger percentage of companies fail to execute against their set strategies, it is no wonder that there is so much thought going into a better action plan. MEGA will have a team onsite to chat with participants about how these transformations, not only in the IT, but in the business as a whole can be navigated with a “business GPS” to ensure that goals are clear, risks identified, resources allocated and that alternate routes are available to deal with the day to day challenges of complex organizations. If you are in town, stop by our booth S11 between 5 -7pm on June 4th and “validate your strategy” with a round of foosball or just enjoy a beer and a traditional Berliner “Currywurst” (curried sausage) with some great company. See you there!
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