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.