Push in companies through forced digitalization

Interview with Prof. Ivo Blohm on "More digitization, less globalisation? An insight into practice.

What has happened so far?

Since the first lockdown, we have accompanied 13 companies to investigate how they are performing in their transition to the home office and remote work. All companies have managed to set up and expand the necessary technical infrastructure without any problems. However, due to the “forced digitalisation”, many companies have for the first time thought about which of their processes and structures they actually need for a digital world. What was exciting was that all companies have begun to systematically cut back on old habits and are now much more agile and digital than before the pandemic – without productivity suffering. One of the CIOs surveyed even said that they had made more progress in three months of the pandemic than in three years of digital transformation before it.


Where does that lead us?

In the short term, one of the greatest potentials for companies is certainly that the new wave of digitalization will enable many business and work processes to be made significantly leaner. Many time-consuming processes and work steps can be eliminated or greatly simplified. Many unnecessary meetings have also been eliminated. That will remain in my eyes. In the long term, I believe that this will even increase. Everyone is already talking about topics like robotic process automation or artificial intelligence. Digital processes inevitably generate large amounts of data, so that there are significantly more application scenarios.

I believe that this could lead to increased automation of business processes in the future.


What do companies and executives have to consider?

We have seen that knowledge and skills are the be-all and end-all. Companies that have managed to get their employees up to speed for the new digital way of working have managed the pandemic particularly well. We at the HSG also offer several programs to support executives in the digital transformation of their companies. For example, the CAS Big Data and AI for Managers, where we enable executives to put such data-driven approaches into practice.



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