When it comes to digitization, there are both pioneers and companies that have still not recognized the importance of acting quickly. Almost 37 percent of employees in German companies react with uncertainty when it comes to establishing digital processes and digital change  . 

A guide for companies in transition

So what is the current status of digital transformation and what is important when choosing a transformation partner? Internet World wrote in May 2017 that digitization in German companies is progressing slowly. The biggest obstacle  is often the fear of making mistakes and therefore wanting to keep old processes.  

This is the importance of digital transformation for customers, employees and managing directors

Most people associate digital transformation with the constant supply of new technologies. It’s about much more. Namely about the change in customer behavior and the increasingly important principle of ‘customer centricity’ . Technological advances not only allow customers to contact each other more often, but also create more communication options for companies to talk to their customers. So it’s not just about establishing digital processes, but also about developing a better understanding of the digital customer.

At around 45% of the companies, the opinion of the employees is divided into supporters and opponents of the digital transformation. About as many state that the establishment of digital processes fails due to internal conflicts and differences of opinion. It is therefore necessary for companies to recognize the needs of their employees and to promote their digital mindset. Setting up a unit – such as a unit, lab or hub – can be helpful in giving employees the opportunity to contribute to new digital processes, but at the same time to find out about the effects of the changes on your own job. The digital transformation not only means a change at management level, but also a change for employees and customers.

Companies should drive digitization in these 5 areas

promote innovation

In order to be successful as a company in the digital environment, various attributes need to be promoted. First of all, employees should be given the opportunity to address and establish innovative ideas and processes. Only those who dare something new discover new strengths and possibly new business areas. Of course, it is primarily up to the managers to promote these innovations. It is precisely the digital unit established at the beginning that enables innovation. With various methods such as workshops on the topics of design thinking , lean startup or rapid prototyping (MVP), a different perspective can be taken on existing processes. New ideas emerge and thus generate contemporary changes.

Social media and mobile marketing in a networked world

Business planning in a social and mobile world needs to be well planned. At a higher level, it is about how the changes in a networked world affect internal communication. The establishment of digital communication channels also means a change in general corporate communication and has an impact on business results, for example through faster agreements. More and more communication channels bring with them more and more lines of business. By promoting this networked communication, teams can also initiate contemporary changes. In this way, marketing strategists can not only consider already established channels when planning their business activities, but also look outside the box for new contact points with the customer. The focus should always be on the customer.

People and Google Analytics for optimized thinking

A successful digital company also includes the ongoing will to optimize. When it comes to this topic, companies are called upon to deal with the topic of people analytics and, in doing so, improve the satisfaction of their employees, for example. How can productivity be measured and promoted? Which behaviors ensure a productive online work environment? Data from management tools (e.g. the Objectives & Key Results method) that compare company goals and performance help here. For individual teams, this means improving their work through regular data analysis. Among other things, the analysis of customer behavior or performance figures counts.

Brand management for digital communication

The development of a digital corporate strategy also means developing a new brand image. For managers and HR managers, this means questioning the internal perception of the brand. For example, how do you manage to involve all teams when it comes to securing performance standards? How do employees feel rewarded with a high level of commitment and how can this commitment be encouraged? Successful implementation again depends on digital communication. In this way, employees can exchange information on a common platform and set common goals. For the marketer, this means at the same time controlling the right brand impact to the outside world.

Recognizing and promoting ideas of the future

In order to not remain a flash in the pan in the digital world and to continue to develop, a foresighted view of emerging trends should be developed. Major current topics such as IT automation, industry 4.0, big data, mobility and cloud computing can still be relevant today, while big players such as Google and Facebook come up with new, market- relevant innovations .

This fact makes it clear that managers and teams should recognize the business-relevant changes in the market. The correct establishment of new processes in your own company is crucial for success. In this way, management styles can be continuously improved and digital business strategies optimized.

promote leadership

The establishment of new digital processes also requires a mindset change at management level. This is the only way innovations can be promoted and approved. Digital leaders bring a high level of risk-taking. This is the only way to take measures that benefit innovation. At the Online B2B Conference in Munich , Leily Summa emphasized that the motto “do the right things” rather than “do the things right” is important.

So-called digital leaders should have many qualities in order to be able to manage their company efficiently. These primarily relate to the points already mentioned above, which must be promoted as a company in the digital transformation. In short, digital leaders have the following characteristics:

  1. They promote the digital culture of their teams.
  2. You integrate the digital strategy into the strategic corporate goals.
  3. They hire employees who bring digital knowledge with them and are so-called digital change agents.
  4. You inspire and promote digital talents.
  5. They strive for digital success with their company.
  6. They break down silos and bring teams and departments together.
  7. You invest in innovation.
  8. You make data-based decisions.


When considering these points, it becomes clear that digital transformation does not only mean a rapid change in technology and processes . Here is an overview of the most important points:

  • Develop an understanding of the fundamental effects of digitization on the company.
  • Recognize measures for the success of the transformation of the company.
  • Initiate cultural change in the company to be successful in an innovative world.
  • If necessary, involve a competent transformation partner.
  • Implement transformation across the board and at all management levels.

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