Naturally, the advances in this area differ greatly from sector to sector. At the front of the sector comparison are – not surprisingly – ICT companies but also financial service providers. At the bottom of the pile in terms of digitalization in the comparison of ten economic sectors were logistics companies.
These sectors are leading the rankings…
There are big differences at the top and bottom areas of the ranking. Information and communication technology companies have a clear lead over the area of financial services. The media and entertainment industry follows this at an even larger distance. The differences in the middle are much smaller. There is only a marginal difference between places four to six, between the electronics industry, automotive industry and energy providers, respectively.
Der Grad der Digitalisierung im Branchenvergleich (Grafik: dii)
… and there is room for improvement in these sectors
Then there is another larger gap between these and the sectors at the bottom of the ranking. Of all sectors, logistics comes last even though the sector would have a great need due to goals such as optimizing freight, warehousing and routes. Slightly in front of logistics are pharmaceuticals and machinery & plant engineering.
The poor performance of the logistics sector is primarily surprising because it has climbed to the third-largest economic sector after commerce and the automotive industry precisely because of the digitalization effect – namely the growing e-commerce demand. There is a lot of catching up to do here: The authors of the study assume that new services such as “same-day delivery” will make it essential in the medium term to speed up the delivery of goods and process the accompanying increasing flood of information digitally. Another area that may need to be discussed more is participation in future traffic control systems. These need to be completely rethought in the future and the logistics sector can provide comprehensive information for this.
Overall, the study of the German economy verifies a relatively large reluctance towards digitalization. According to this, only one in three of the 1143 interviewed companies currently ascribed the digital transformation a central role. The study identifies strategic deficits and the continued use of paper documents as the biggest hindrances for digital processes.
However, companies that respond immediately can create a significant added value from these developments. With technical tools such as portal software and web-based business applications, these companies are able to simplify their processes and plan them more efficiently. This can free up resources for developing innovations and new business models.
Die meisten Unternehmen haben die große Rolle der Digitalisierung erkannt (Grafik: dii)
Mario Dönnebrink, CEO of the software company, d.velop, which commissioned the study, summarizes the study results as follows: “It can no longer be disputed that digitalization is a formula for success for companies’ growth and profitability. In this respect, there is substantial demand for action to ensure their competitive power in the market.”
Numerous workshops and specialist conferences on the subject of digital transformation, such as “Portal Visions” and “Digital Work & Business”, are intent on putting this important topic even more firmly on the agenda of companies in the future.
Christoph Herzog ran the blog www.get-digital.blog from January 2016 to May 2018. The literary and cultural scholar is interested in the points of contact between (working) culture and technology: How does digitalization change the way we work? And what opportunities and challenges do they present?