Medium-sized enterprise roadmap for the future opportunities of digitalization


Once analogue, now digital – above all, however, global: gaining customers, improving processes and promoting employees. The digitalization is one of the great opportunities for Germany as a business location in terms of international competitiveness. Although the majority of the decision-makers in medium-sized enterprises are already aware of the subject, the potential harbored by the own digital transformation still remains unexploited by most small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Introducing new technology is not enough,” says Prof. Dr. Thorsten Posselt, head of the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy in Leipzig. “In order to successfully compete, a company must be an organization that learns all the time.” For this reason, he also believes that integrating digitalization into own corporate strategy is an important step: company heads often follow their instincts and prefer to “wait and see”. This hesitancy is a risk to international competitiveness as digitalization is not only changing our society and the economy ever more rapidly; it is a global driver of all business activities: digital business models influence the structure and makeup of entire trade cycles and value chains.

Guidance for getting into the digital business

In collaboration with E-Business-Lotsen Südwestfalen-Hagen, a business information service, the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy in Leipzig has developed a roadmap for practical application in medium-sized enterprises. It was drawn up in close cooperation with the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW) and Kompetenznetzwerk wisnet e.V., which specializes in advising companies on all e-business matters.

Practical examples from real-life businesses highlight the first steps companies must take if they want to move into the digital world. The roadmap examines the paths that have emerged as particularly worthwhile for digital newcomers. Company heads will find inspiration and guidance here on how to turn the recommended measures into action. They will soon see that digitalization can be implemented gradually, and they are given practical tips on where to start, how to approach the subject and who they can rely on for support in the form of subsidies and advice.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has funded the roadmap in brochure form in order to help you to take up the challenge of the digital transformation, and to empower you to be able to hold your own against both old and new competitors – totally in keeping with the motto: good business means successful medium-sized enterprises. The roadmap “Zukunftschance Digitalisierung” ('Future opportunity digitalization'), which you can find in electronic form at Online-Portal des wisnet e.V., will be presented at the BMWi funding initiative “eKompetenz-Netzwerk für Unternehmen” ('e-competence business network') closing event on 8 and 9 September 2015 in Berlin.

Contact: Dr. Marija Radic and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Lutz Maicher

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