By Dr. Christian Schläger, CEO of Build38
Dr. Christian Schläger, CEO of Build38
The field of forecasting is naturally based on a certain uncertainty. The view into the crystal ball is often clouded by unknown factors or an incorrect weighting of the various criteria. However, the coming year is under good omens in terms of digitization efforts in Germany. Therefore, we dare to look into the near future with confidence and draw a picture of the foreseeable developments in the coming year.
Germany will become noticeably more digital
The fact that digitalization is being pushed forward every day all over the world is indisputable and can be confirmed by any reasonably attentive observer. The advantages of digitization and the closely related automation cannot be dismissed out of hand. Work processes will be scalable and large amounts of data will be promoted – using the right analysis methods – to reveal incomparable insights in all industries and application areas.
The private sector, driven by competitive pressure, is already significantly further ahead in the implementation of modern solutions such as applications, APIs, IoT, as well as the use of big data than many state organizations are. Although states are not in direct competition to the same extent as is the case in the business environment. But the progress in digitization in the public sphere is quite a comparable metric. And in this comparison, Germany has so far performed reasonably poorly. Digitization projects such as the electronic patient file ePA or the online ID eID are still in their infancy in this country; model countries such as Estonia, on the other hand, have already digitized their public processes almost completely for many years. If the new federal government were to put its declarations of intent into practice quickly and push ahead with the digitization of German society quickly and with appropriate means, we could still get the curve in time. However, there is not much time left, because the accelerating forces of automation are a decisive competitive advantage and have a self-reinforcing effect on the future development of a society.
Here are the most important projects from which we expect a quantum leap in 2022:
- oath: Digital identification is the cornerstone of all official processes of the future. From online shopping to administrative procedures to any conclusion of a contract, a reliable and secure identification function is indispensable.
- ePA/ePrescription/DIGA: The electronic patient record promises a quantum leap for the medical treatment of patients. The German healthcare system, in particular, finds itself far behind in an international comparison in terms of digitization measures. It’s time to say goodbye to the fax and send our otherwise well-established health system with the best conditions into the future.
- Industry 4.0 & Automation: Competitive pressure has already forced many of the large producers to implement the highest possible degree of automation at a rapid pace. Many of the repetitive workflows in production and warehouses are already done by Internet-enabled machines today. However, under the pressure of market economy mechanisms, the goal of rapid market launch is often put before the requirements for IT security. In any case, one brings a quick ROI, the monetary advantages of the other are initially only virtual and therefore difficult to convey when justifying the budget. Since many manufacturing companies and companies active in the supply chain are systemically relevant critical enterprises, the necessary legal framework conditions and safety standards should be promoted by the state with more resources.
What used to be industrial production is now digitization: the decisive factor for the future weight of a nation in an increasingly networked world permeated by digitization. However, there is reason to hope that the coming years will bring a reasonable increase in the necessary investments in the key state projects. We are already a global model student when it comes to data protection: the GDPR is a strong brand that has already been taken by many large countries as a model for their own initiatives (CCPA in California, PIPL in China). Germany should use this momentum to secure an international pioneering position in the field of digital security – there are not many places left on the podium of digitization.