An interview on the subject of digitalization
Frank Duscheck a partner with BearingPoint, visited us as a keynote speaker and talked to us about his experience of developing new digital business models in the area of industrial service. Afterwards we asked him for a brief interview on the topic of digitalization:
You received an award as one of Germany’s best business consultants. Did digitalization help you achieve this success? If so, how?
One of the reasons I won the award was the platform concept which I was lucky enough to develop in collaboration with our customer Schindler. In the digitalization sector, people realised that the things Schindler was working on were groundbreaking in the industry. Together with our customer we had the opportunity to explore new territory, and the success of the project was our way of repaying this trust if you like. The new digital solutions were launched at the Hannover Messe this year under the name Ahead.
What is your own formula for why the project went so well and led to you receiving the award?
BearingPoint focuses very much on business and IT alignment. We combined industry expertise with the right implementation skills. Optimum project staffing is vital here, too – the support we got from Westhouse in advance was excellent here.
What are the fundamental stages to becoming a digital company?
It’s often difficult to apply all the various buzzwords in the area of digitalization to yourself – ultimately digitalization is an operational concept, so the first stage is to have a clear idea of what digitalization means to the company in question. Ultimately, digitalization has to be primarily focused on the customer – this is where you have to see the added value, and that’s something you have to think about beforehand as well.
The next stage is then to establish the right implementation strategy – what order will you be doing things in, i.e. what does your roadmap look like. How is it possible to achieve initial success right away – so-called quick wins? etc.
One small tip: don’t wait for the final product – proceed in stages and communicate even smaller-scale achievements in advance internally, and to the market as well.
Why does digitalization fail in some companies?
These projects are frequently triggered by software providers, but the customer may not yet have the necessary expertise at this point to match their corporate strategy.
The order is wrong here: you have start by analysing what you want to achieve in the project according to the business model, and then decide on the right software to match the business model and the project goal.
Another source of potential failure is when the scope of the project constantly changes. Here I recommend setting up projects so as to achieve initial results early on rather than adopting an over-engineered approach. In other words, arrive at an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) quickly and then add new functions in short cycles (on an agile basis).
Do you come up against resistance to digitalization?
Not really – sometimes there’s uncertainty about what digitalization means for a company, how customers will feel about it or what added value digitalization is able to offer. These are the questions we address first of all. Then it’s important to see that digitalization has nothing to do with technology – the technology is there already. The question is how the technology can be used to develop new business models.
How do you ensure that this actually gives the customer added value at the end of the project?
You have to see yourself as a problem solver. There are platforms that can be created for widely differing strategic orientations and types of added value – customer satisfaction and efficiency, for example. In the course of the digitalization project you’ll often discover additional potential that you gradually incorporate as you go along – even entirely new digital business models and revenue streams.
How do you feel digitalization is impacting on recruitment agencies?
More and more experts are now wanted in the area of digitalization and the targeted freelancer profile is changing, too – moving more towards cloud services, architecture and security, for example.
We would like to thank Mr. Duscheck for taking the time to give us this interview.
Our team picked up fresh input from the talk on digitalization and the subsequent discussion. Westhouse goes digital …
Now you can look forward to our ideas!