Keep Calm and Digitize:

What Approach Are German Companies Taking in a New Age?

The trend study by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Bitkom Research


German companies are investing increasingly higher sums in their digitization. Technologies, processes, business models, cultures – everything is changing rapidly. For now, though, stay cool.

We asked 1,000 decision makers about their experiences, which helped create this guide. The answers provide strategies, methods, expertise, and all the rest. Reckon you’ll be surprised by the results? Find out now!

1. Chapter


Which Way to Digital Business, Please?

Companies are now increasingly open to digitization. Investments are continuously growing. And more and more often, the transformation is anchored strategically. However, there are also hurdles to overcome.

Commitment to digitization grows year on year

How many companies are open to digitization?

Money not an issue, but security is seen as a roadblock

What do companies view as obstacles to digitization?

Digitization more deeply ingrained

Cross-functional coordination by a single person

Sharp increase in investment

What percentage of their annual revenue do companies invest in digitization?

“Digitization is more than technology. It affects the culture and way of working in all areas of a business. It is therefore a positive sign that more and more companies are coordinating and implementing change across functions.”
Sapthagiri Chapalapalli Vice President and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services Germany
2. Chapter


Is the Crew up to the Task?

Not every employee is enthusiastic about digitization. And not everyone can do what they need to do, which is why training and education are so important. This also creates new jobs.

Digital expertise in need of improvement

Most wanted: IT security consultants

Who are employers searching for?

How do employees perceive digital transformation?

Employee retention: An underestimated opportunity

Where do companies see the greatest potential for digitization?

“With new job descriptions, advanced automation, and more flexible working models, the new working world raises many questions that directly concern us HR decision-makers. We need to become more involved in discussions about the digital direction of our companies.”
Frank Karcher Regional HR Manager Central Europe, Tata Consultancy Services Germany
3. Chapter


Speak to Each Other!

Change leads to uncertainty and resistance. Increasingly more companies are guiding their employees through digitization with change management. The magic word is communication.

A planned approach is increasingly important

How many companies rely on change management for digitization?

Companies are becoming more agile

How commonly do companies use agile methods?

“Fundamental change requires a clear vision, a good strategy, and people who bring it to life. Change management helps in implementing digital culture change across business functions.”
Dr. Kay Müller-Jones Head of Consulting & Services Integration, Tata Consultancy Services Germany
4. Chapter


Facts Instead of Myths

Digitization is an emotional topic – particularly when it’s about your own industry. Everyone thinks they know which sector will be “disrupted” and how. But what are the facts?

IT & Communication

“IT companies sell digital solutions – but don’t believe in them.”


The IT and communications industry is especially open to digital change. Companies coordinate digitization centrally and systematically. Cloud computing and big data analysis, but also agile methods, are already almost the standard.

Very open to digitization

One person coordinates digitization across all departments

Digital technologies and methods in use

Cloud computing

Big data & analytics


“German retail is sleeping through digiti­zation.”


The hesitation is over. In 2019, the retail sector is much more open to the digital world compared to the industry average. Companies are investing in software for data analysis and creating jobs for social media and digital marketing professionals.

Very open to digitization

Our employees should be able to analyze and interpret data

Wanted: Digital experts with a focus on marketing

Jobs created for social media managers

Jobs created for digital marketing professionals

Automotive Industry

“German carmakers have lost their innovative touch”


The automotive industry is in the digital fast lane. Automotive companies use almost every technology more frequently than other sectors – from big data and analytics to 3D printing and VR/AR to artificial intelligence.

Digital technologies in use

Big data & analytics

3D printing




Banking and Insurance

“Banks and insurance companies are the big losers of digiti­zation.”


The sector is increasingly warming to digital innovations. Banks and insurance companies are flying the flag for blockchain in the German economy. The strategic coordination of change is also above average.

Very open to digitization

One person coordinates digitization across all departments

Use of blockchain

Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals

“Chemical and Pharma­ceutical companies are actively avoiding digiti­zation.”


The industry is not only generally open to the digital world; it also makes extensive use of new technologies. These include VR/AR and 3D printing. The sector adopts innovation management approaches and agile methods from the digital sphere.

Expertise for digital transformation


3D printing

Digital methods in use

Innovation management (design thinking, for example)

Agile methods (Scrum, Kanban, etc.)

Mechanical Engineering

“Engineers optimize details but overlook the big innova­tions.”


Disruptive technologies remain the strength of mechanical engineering. The industry relies on 3D printers, VR/AR, artificial intelligence, and much more. Agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban are already widely used in mechanical engineering.

Digital technologies in use

3D printing


Artificial intelligence

Expertise for digital transformation

Agile methods (Scrum, Kanban, etc.)


Do you have questions about the study, or would like to find out more about digitization in Germany? Our experts are always there for you.

Dr. Kay Müller-Jones
Head of Consulting & Services Integration

Phone: +49 69 78 7022-0

Doreen Schulze
Marketing Manager

Phone: +49 69 78 7022-0