German Organizations Must be Front and Center of the Digital Revolution

by Florian Hartwig, Head of Enterprise, AWS Germany

With the global weight of AI powerhouses pressing down, Germany can’t afford to stay still. Florian Hartwig, Head of Enterprise, explores why it’s critical for German corporations to lay the foundation for a strong data strategy and be front and center of the digital revolution.


Germany’s start-up ecosystem runs on a digital first and data-driven philosophy. That’s why these organizations are agile by nature—whether it’s constantly tailoring their services to their customers’ needs or bringing their services to market even faster than their larger and more established competitors. Because of this, large corporations in Germany are under an increasing amount of pressure to match this pace and extract the value of data. Succeed, and they have the chance to thrive amongst an ultra-competitive and ever-evolving market. Fail, and they risk falling into the shadows of the start-up disruption.

In “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, Clayton M. Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation. No matter the industry, he says, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices. The question is, how can an organization that has an established business, large head count, and long-standing IT infrastructure tap into this nimbler way of working, particularly in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) regional ecosystem and regulatory environment?

One of the biggest challenges standing in-between large corporations and this transformation is how IT is seen in the organization. Successful IT teams today really have a dual role and responsibility of keeping the lights on and driving innovation through technology. Overcoming this challenge means IT and the business have to have greater integration, focusing on business outcomes rather than “IT projects”.

From my experience working with dozens of enterprise customers I have witnessed that external cloud partners have the experience and expertise to act as moderators and guides. Not only do we offer leading edge technology to create real business value, but we also can share best practices and perspectives in how to better operate organizationally, and function more effectively across business and IT as a collective. After all, without this level of deep learning, there is no data. And without data, can a business truly understand itself or its customer?

Nowhere is this question more relevant than in Germany; a country celebrated for being a leader in the analogue world. Yet, with customers shifting to as a Service (aaS) and with the global weight of AI powerhouses pressing down, Germany can’t afford to stay still. Instead, it must lay the foundation for a strong data strategy and be front and center of the digital revolution.

One company successfully tackling big data is Siemens. The 170-year-old global technology leader must keep a close eye on the ever evolving landscape of cybercrime. The charter of the Siemens Cyber Defense Center (CDC) is to protect Siemens and its customers from viruses, malware, intellectual property theft, and other forms of cybercrime. It’s no small job: Worldwide, an average of 200,000 new malware samples were collected daily in 2017, a 300 percent increase over the previous year.

Because the magnitude of this problem far exceeds the capacity of human teams to solve it, CDC used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a next-generation data analytics platform to address the problem. “Our goal was to use cloud-based artificial intelligence to process these huge amounts of data and make immediate decisions about how best to counter any detected threats,” says Jan Pospisil, a senior data scientist at CDC. “Given the objective of an AI-enabled, high-speed, fully-automated, and highly-scalable platform, the decision to use AWS was easy.”

In Germany, there are currently around 90,000 open IT roles, meaning it’s never been more important for the economy to invest in digital skills enablement. Whether it’s introducing the existing workforce to training partners or implementing it into academic curriculums, more needs to be done to ensure we have the talent in place to become a digital-first nation.

In his ebook “Becoming a Data-driven Organization,” my colleague Joe Chung, Enterprise Strategist and Evangelist at AWS, discusses why all businesses have a big data issue and what opportunities could come their way if they tackled it.

Becoming a Data-driven Organization
ebook
Becoming a Data-driven Organization
Common data dysfunctions and how you can address them

About the author

Florian Hartwig
Head of Enterprise, AWS Germany

Florian Hartwig was appointed Head of Enterprise, AWS Germany in December 2018 and is driven by a mission to use the innovative nature of AWS Cloud technology to bring agility and versatility to organizations within the Enterprise and Upper Mittelstand across Germany.

Utilising his more than 15 years experience in the technology industry, Florian has honed his technique of partnering with businesses to create real business value, share best practices and perspectives in how to better operate organizationally, and function more effectively across business and IT as a collective.

Learn more about Florian »


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