A digital tsunami is on its way: Insights from Hansjürg Inniger

Guest article by Hansjürg Inniger

Digitalization is spreading broadly across all the different layers of society. It has led to changes in many businesses in every sector of our economy; and forced people to adapt to survive. Yet, digitalization is not a threat to those who are prepared. It is the opposite. It is a source of opportunities here to be grasped. The minor - “Digital Economy”- HEG-FR offers, not only teaches students about the role of digitalization and what it means, but also helps prepare them for the forthcoming challenges. 

Guest speaker at minor - “Digital Economy”, Hansjürg Inniger is convinced that such a revolution requires manufacturers to rethink their business. He is Director Solution Center Internet of Things & Partner at Zühlke​. In this short guest contribution, he shares insights and talks about the opportunities Industry 4.0 brings with it and why students and managers should not slumber through this development: 

“A digital tsunami is on its way.  Either you surf it or you are possibly going to drown. There are many challenges in front of you. Consider at least the following three:
  • Commodity trap: If your product is easy to replace, the evaluation criteria is reduced to the price.
  • Security has to be considered from the beginning and is an ongoing task over the entire lifecycle. 100% secure? That is not possible and moreover, not affordable. Therefore, making only the data secure. That is a big effort actually. But it is worth it.
  • The winner takes it all: The winner is not always the first one but a winner has a market share which is huge and impossible to attack with a me-too strategy. Take Facebook and Google for example.
Focus on your customer. Which is the added value for him? Technology is always an enabler and never self-sufficient. Take into account as well your ecosystem - all over the company and sector boarders. Even more so, double-check the distributed value chain. What is your core and what can be handled by a partner? Bear in mind: “90% of all business model innovations are recombinations”, as said by Oliver Gassmann who is a professor at University of St. Gallen and a member of Zühlke Group’s board of directors. The world is too complex and too fast to do it all on your own."

About Zühlke:​
Zühlke is the preferred partner for delivering business innovation in a global context. By combining both business and technology expertise, we create solutions that satisfy our customers. We develop financially successful products, services and business models for today’s digital world - from coming up with the initial idea through to the implementation and operation. We can achieve this by drawing on the experience of over 800 in-house experts and of more than 8,000 successful projects. In 2016, Zühlke ​generated CHF 133 million in revenue, employing 810 staff. 

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