Prof. Dr. Sven­ja Falk, Mana­ging Direc­tor at Accen­ture, Chris­toph Plass, Board of UNITY, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Boris Otto, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Fraun­ho­fer ISST and Depu­ty Chair­man of the IDSA Board.
© Platt­form Indus­trie 4.0/ Chris­toph Plass / Fraun­ho­fer ISST

What are the cen­tral poten­ti­als, chal­len­ges and needs of com­pa­nies with digi­tal busi­ness models? The Platt­form Indus­trie 4.0 asked three experts who are enga­ged in the Platt­form: Prof. Dr. Sven­ja Falk, Mana­ging Direc­tor at Accen­ture, Chris­toph Plass, Board of UNITY, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Boris Otto, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Fraun­ho­fer ISST and Depu­ty Chair­man of the IDSA Board.

Ques­ti­on 1: Whe­re is the grea­test poten­ti­al for digi­tal busi­ness models for manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­nies?

Prof. Dr. Sven­ja Falk: From the tri­ad "net­wor­ked fac­to­ry, net­wor­ked pro­duc­ts, net­wor­ked enter­pri­se net­works", new added value and com­pe­ti­ti­ve dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on emer­ge. I cur­r­ent­ly see the grea­test poten­ti­al in Smart Ser­vices for main­ten­an­ce and qua­li­ty manage­ment (con­di­ti­on moni­to­ring), as well as pro­duc­tivi­ty increa­ses through digi­tal net­wor­ked pro­duc­tion. To achie­ve this, the fol­lo­wing tech­no­lo­gi­cal buil­ding blocks are important: cloud (PaaS, IaaS, SaaS), con­nec­tivi­ty, arti­fi­ci­al intel­li­gence and big data, as well as cyber­se­cu­ri­ty. In the future, open stan­dards and inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty will be the basis for new busi­ness models and a stron­ger focus on the custo­mer expe­ri­ence. This inclu­des the mone­tiza­ti­on of ope­ra­tio­nal data as well as the co-deve­lop­ment of pro­duc­ts and their joint use.

Ques­ti­on 2: What are the key chal­len­ges on the way to a digi­tal busi­ness model?

Chris­toph Plass: When buil­ding digi­tal busi­ness models, com­pa­nies often focus on new digi­tal tech­no­lo­gies. They want to intro­du­ce them with the help of agi­le orga­ni­za­tio­nal models, enri­ched with modern cul­tu­ral ele­ments. They expect suc­cess, but often it does not hap­pen. This is essen­ti­al­ly due to the fact that the focus is on the ways and means – i.e. the HOW. The pur­po­se and goals – the WHY – remain unans­we­red. A digi­tal busi­ness model requi­res a clear stra­te­gy, with visi­on and con­cre­te goals. We are expe­ri­en­cing gre­at uncer­tain­ty here. For examp­le, the­re is a lack of expe­ri­ence in how data should be mone­ti­zed.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Boris Otto: The suc­cess fac­tor for digi­tal busi­ness models is the mas­te­ry of the ent­i­re data value chain, i.e. all activi­ties from data genera­ti­on to data pre-pro­ces­sing, sto­rage, dis­tri­bu­ti­on and ana­ly­sis to the use of the data. A par­ti­cu­lar chal­len­ge here is the fact that the data value chain often crosses com­pa­ny bounda­ries and extends across ent­i­re eco­sys­tems.

Ques­ti­on 3: What helps com­pa­nies to imple­ment new busi­ness models?

Chris­toph Plass: The ana­ly­sis shows that the chal­len­ges are mul­ti-laye­red and com­plex. From many prac­ti­cal cases, we have iden­ti­fied suc­cess fac­tors as well as pro­blems and obsta­cles for the five are­as: Stra­te­gy, Human Resour­ces, Imple­men­ta­ti­on, Cul­tu­re and Exter­nal Envi­ron­ment. Com­pa­nies have to face the­se. The­re are lar­ge solu­ti­on are­as. An ide­al con­cept does not exist. An indi­vi­du­al eva­lua­ti­on of the com­pa­ny situa­ti­on in the­se are­as is the­re­fo­re necessa­ry.Prof. Dr.-Ing. Boris Otto: Data is the raw mate­ri­al of digi­tal busi­ness models, but many com­pa­nies are not yet "data rea­dy". In order to be able to play a part in digi­tal eco­sys­tems, you have to have your own data under con­trol. Many com­pa­nies still have some catching up to do here.

For the Q&A in Ger­man: Click Here