Opportunities And Risks Of Digitization

Digitization (1)

When I explained a few weeks ago that digitization would be the next topic of our salon conversation, I was met with excellent rejection from some. “Not again…” was another harmless reaction, or “I don’t want to hear about it anymore,” another.

Digitization Is Viewed Differently.

Nevertheless, a small group of interested people met who were primarily interested in hearing about the experiences and opinions of others on this topic and sharing their own experiences. After we talked about the consequences of social media in a salon a few weeks earlier, it quickly became apparent how different people see digitization. Some refusers try to lead a purely analog life, scientists who want to use the almost unlimited possibilities of digitization, and the digital freaks for whom turning on the light with a light switch means anachronism.

The Development Of Future Strategies Is Becoming More Complex.

At the beginning of our conversation, it became clear that there needed to be a uniform understanding of the meaning of digitization. It was clear to everyone that this is not a wave that will subside in a few years but a development that will lead to lasting changes in companies and society, the consequences of which we cannot yet foresee. This makes it challenging to develop a strategy and a vision of the future because tomorrow, this can again be reduced to absurdity by new developments.

Digitization Needs The Right Measure.

The description of the entrepreneurs present who offer digital technologies and automation made me particularly thoughtful. They explained typical customer behavior. In the beginning, customer requirements are best to digitize everything possible. Then it’s a matter of clarifying what makes sense. A complex digital structure is set up at great expense if the customer allows himself to be supported by his extreme wishes. However, this is then hardly used because it is too complicated, and the required training effort does not want to be provided. After all, everything should be more accessible. The disappointment is excellent because simple actions you could previously do yourself now require a look at the manual or the support of an expert.

It became clear to the generation of older participants that younger people take the Internet for granted, just like water and electricity do for them. It’s always there; if there is a failure, panic-like states can arise.

The Opportunities Are Manifold.

The opportunities of the Internet have taken up a lot of space, which today also leads to significant changes in the cooperation between employees and customers. The “prosumer,” acting both as a consumer and a producer with his knowledge, changes the classic customer-employee relationships. Internet platforms become profitable by ensuring suppliers and buyers meet and do business. Employees work collaboratively in virtual spaces across spaces and times, and automation leads to deserted factories where robots do the work.

How Do We Teach Digital Competence?

However, some risks were also identified. In particular, the impact of social media on young people has been highlighted by those with teenage children. Society still needs to prepare to teach digital skills to young people. Schools and parents are overwhelmed. Even when the resources are available, they are not called upon because there needs to be more teachers and time to teach the skills.


We have again experienced an intensive salon conversation with many different views and opinions. In the end, it became clear that everyone is required to develop an attitude towards and to deal with digitization that, on the one hand, enables them to take advantage of it, but on the other hand, protects them from risks. To achieve this, it is essential to educate yourself further, hold discussions, and benefit from the experiences of others. This exchange of affairs can only take place to a limited extent on the Internet. The personal encounter is essential, as we make it possible in the salon conversation.

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