27. Jan, 2017

My summary of the 7th Cologne IT Summit from yesterday ...

As mentioned earlier I did visit the 7th Cologne IT Summit (https://www.cologne-it-summit.de/) in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry building (http://www.cci-cologne.de/) yesterday. It was a packed agenda with a good mixture of strategic topics and practical examples, supported by a Digital-Lab space and two Breakout sessions. Below my personal summary and take aways of the day. To start off some quotes I collected during the day:

  • Everything what can be digital, will be digital. Everything what can be connected to the Internet, will be connected. Everything what can be automated, will be automated.

  • For Digital Transformation You have to make a mindset change first.

  • Start to better understand your own business and data model first, before to focus on big data.

  • If you cannot play it digital shortly, you will not play it at all anymore.

  • Stop thinking in products, start thinking in solutions and services.

  • Digital and personal data security: Make it secure enough to gain necessary trust with all your customers, make it open enough to create new business models easily.

  • Digitalization is not happening in the class room, but in the schoolyard. Connect MINT/STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects with entrepreneurship to prepare startups better.

 Other topics and thoughts I collected during the day:

  • 1st thing I did after the introduction and keynote session in the morning was a 45 minute hands-on Design Thinking workshop (http://www.whatisdesignthinking.org/). Great experience and unbelievable, how much valuable stuff you can bring up in less than 45 minutes, we ended up with a first prototype to share with our customer.
  • A really big concern coming with the digital transformation is the LEGAL side of the house. In Germany the courts are not ready yet for the digital world, knowledge and experience wise. You should be looking for specialized IT lawyers, if needed and to speed up your process and progress.
  • Big Data could be the new oil (besides it is not restricted) of the future. The USA is leading in technology and experience, due to their lower data security level. The level in Germany is much higher and the European Community is preparing further guidelines for 2018. Make use of big data to get better customer understanding for B2B or B2C models. Find your key issues in e.g. marketing and sales and check, how big data can enable solutions. Always verify big data analytics results with alternative measurements - interview with customers.
  • A German startup company was offering a Digital Readiness Check (http://www.digitisation.de/). I found something comparable in English - Digital Readiness: Online Self-Check for Organisationshttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-readiness-online-self-check-organisations-peter-rosseel. The key issues are missing knowledge, experts and budgets. It is not a technology topic, it is a mindset change!! You have to involve employees and use their innovation capabilities, leave silos. And ask your customers, and anticipate solutions for the future of your company and business.
  • Ways to success during the Digital Transformation: Senior Management support, money, speed, fast feedback, several iterations, have drivers to get quick results in an agile environment. Build a startup spirite. Stop selling washing machines, start offering a clean clothes service for e.g. 10 years instead.
  • Change is now ongoing and permanent. Plan quickly and take 1st step immediately. If result is okay proceed, if not adjust direction slightly - fast iteration cycles. Need to make dramatic changes in education, add informatics as subject, we just do have too less developers in Germany.

Another great day and I did learn a lot. Basically it is all about people and mindset, you just have to start and make it happen as one team.