Fortunately, I was already sitting in my chair when I read the study prepared by Kearney and the German Society for Management Research with classification into digitization types. According to the survey of key decision-makers in German companies with sales in excess of €1 billion, 40 percent are “risk-averse standard digitalizers”. By definition, the companies in the survey do not have a clear strategic digital goal and harbor doubts in the absence of rapid success. That is really quite astounding! Furthermore, 24 percent of the companies are “non-disruptive digitizers”, i.e., they have developed a digital culture but lack the courage for new digital business models. I’m not surprised that 10 percent of companies are still considered “digital complainers” and are attested by researchers to lack digital competence. The group of skeptics, who have a problem for every solution, is about the same size. I won’t say anything about the 3 percent who refuse to go digital, because there are also the artists. A ray of hope are the 15 percent who are ambitiously digital. They have a comprehensive digitization strategy and are ready for new business models. But to be honest, by the end of 2020 and under the current circumstances, I don’t find it that frightening.
Similar analyses and our own evaluations suggest that the survey results can also be applied to the print industry. I always ask: “Where do you stand, dear printer? My thoughts are with the network economist Dr. Holger Schmidt, who posts: “In order not to fall behind in the competition or even to gain advantages, it is not enough to simply digitize a few processes when other companies are doing the same”.
We are seeing how companies have flourishing businesses despite the pandemic. On closer inspection, for example, in recent discussions with Marc Horriar from Cloudlab or Philip Rook from the Spread Group, it becomes clear that these companies have a strategy. They are not only ready for new business models, but they are already putting them into practice.
Recently I stood in front of an aquarium and watched the aquatic plants sway back and forth but never move out of place. The picture reminded me of one or two discussions about developing a digital strategy. Every printer must now classify himself. This can be done very quickly with the classification as it was done in the study. Once again, I ask specifically: “Where do you stand, dear printer?