The topic of “digital transformation” is an issue that affects just about every industry. While some sectors of the economy have the issue at the top of their agenda and are launching one project after another, a good proportion of companies have missed the opportunity to occupy potential new growth areas.
According to an Accenture study, the German economy is losing a growth potential of 99 billion euros by 2020 in Germany alone through missing or inefficient cooperation with start-ups – that is about 3.4 percent of the current gross domestic product. The motives for working with start-ups vary, depending on whether they are open collaboration or genuine investments. During my consultancy work, five possible strategic reasons for collaboration have emerged:
- use of start-ups as service providers
- access to their technologies
- joint research & development
- opening up new target groups
- insight into the working methods of start-ups (start-up culture)
We are a start-up. And with the Text Robot, we have a technology in our portfolio that enables companies to create text from existing structured data – fully automated. It doesn’t take much fantasy and imagination to recognise the added value associated with this and derive new business models from it. Existing data – and companies have plenty of it – is turned into money, to say it somewhat abbreviated.
According to our observations, whether companies seize these opportunities depends to a large extent on the seriousness with which management is pursuing the topic of digital transformation. The differences could not be greater, as our observations during customer visits show. The spectrum ranges from ignorance to restrained interest to complete enthusiasm. We encounter the latter whenever the company has established one or two positions, staffed by people with a high level of digital competence.
Digital transformation means working together in partnership
Recently, a visit to a bank that tends to be labelled as refusing to digitise, revealed a completely different picture. Several interdepartmental staff units had been established. Day in, day out, the ‘Digital Natives’ team works on how the company can further digitalise, develop new products and digital business models, improve customer access and show themselves where they spend most of their time: online.
To be honest, we were surprised at the high level of digital competence and open-mindedness towards new technologies that the bankers are using. In many cases, new digital projects are created from scratch over and over – almost like on an assembly line. We thanked them for the opportunity to present our solution. The digital boss’s answer: “We enjoy working with start-ups. For us this is completely normal. We are not competent in all specialist areas and are happy to learn more. And since we cannot develop new technologies ourselves, start-ups are our digital workbench”.
We are ready.
Further contributions on the topic of Text Robots: