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Digitalisation 18.0: Of Old Times and New Digital Adventures

Sebastian Schieke
22 December 2017

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

He may be just as slow as he is sweet, but Winnie the Pooh is capable of wisdom, too. In the present case, he’s got it right anyway: If you set out good-spirited and well-equipped, you are bound to encounter one or two big adventures along the way. We at NOVELDO, for our part, did encounter a few adventures this year, and we are not taking off our big boots just yet.

Continuous Digitalisation, Continuous Improvement

In 2017, we initiated a number of projects and changes that will continue to keep us company in the new year. To us, the turn of the year is thus not so much the ending of something old as the continuation of a journey we embarked on a while ago. We welcome the turn of the year, however, as the perfect occasion to review past business activities, carry out analyses, make new plans and a few adjustments for the future.

Successful Digitalisation Measures

As a company, we have achieved significant growth in the past twelve months. We acquired the trust of a number of major new clients and implemented many challenging projects in the areas of internal and external digitalisation. For one of our clients, we successfully implemented a comprehensive digital collaboration suite and we have also begun the work on an extensive digitalisation programme for another. The digitalisation workshops we offered for management and supervisory boards throughout the year were met with enthusiasm, which in turn validated the importance of our work.

Successful Digitalisation Requires Good Counselling

The implementation of digital restructuring measures requires tact and empathy. Interfering with familiar business procedures can seem threatening unless all stakeholders are convinced of the profit of any given digitalisation measure. Attempting to persuade stakeholders with verbal might alone is just as insufficient as taking an one-size-fits-all approach. In order to offer tailor-made solutions to the client, it is mandatory to understand their specific overarching structures and business procedures as well as the needs of the individual user. As consultants, we believe that only the right digitalisation strategy for the right client at the right time will prove beneficial to all employees concerned.

Digitalising German Middle-Sized Businesses

The 4th Eastern Partnership Business Forum, which took place in Tallinn in October 2017, highlighted the many ways in which digitalisation strategies can and do serve the common good. Organised by the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership and Enterprise Estonia, the Forum was dedicated to the latest developments in e-Governance and e-Commerce. Participating in this thought-provoking Forum, I realised once more that West European economies are ignoring the vast potential of digitalisation to their own detriment. It is for this very reason that Anabel Ternès and I co-authored a digitalisation handbook aimed at German middle-sized businesses in particular. Entitled Mittelstand 4.0 (Middle-Sized Business 4.0), the book aims at raising awareness for the economic values of digitalisation. Published by Springer, the book will appear in the first quarter of the new year.

The Digital Future at NOVELDO

We begin the new year, then, with fascinating projects, fresh ideas and, not least, new colleagues who will support is us in paving new ways towards innovative digitalisation strategies. As traditional ways of making business undergo change, new forms of digital services will be required. The digitalisation of external processes such as, for example, e-marketing and e-commerce, will increasingly call for the digitalisation of internal processes - and vice versa. In order to provide even more valuable services to our clients, we will tie our two business units, Digital Consulting and Digital Marketing, closer together in the new year. From this synthesis of services, performance and potential, NOVELDO will emerge as a new and innovative Digital Powerhouse.

Big adventures do take big boots.

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