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Dieter Weißhaar – new board members present themselves

Dieter Weißhaar is a real expert when it comes to questions of digitization. He explains what he thinks about modern, cloud-based solutions in an interview.

Great success begins with small steps


GHK advisory board member Dieter Weißhaar is a real expert when it comes to questions of digitization. The graduate economist has already proven his expertise in several responsible positions at large companies such as ThyssenKrupp or Deutsche Telekom. In the following interview, he reveals why he attaches great importance to modern, cloud-based solutions.

Mr. Weißhaar, what do you understand by the digital transformation of medium-sized companies?

Dieter Weißhaar: "The digital transformation essentially consists of two areas: On one hand, it is the digitization and optimization of existing business processes to become more productive and efficient. Here, it is not only necessary to digitize content but also to handle all process steps digitally without media breaks. This is particularly important for the future viability of medium-sized companies. Secondly, it is about the change or even new business models through digitization where customer and user behavior is changing. New competitors are entering markets with other business models such as the provision of machines in the digital pay-as-you-go model."

What opportunities do small and medium-sized companies which have so far slept through the digital change have to regain access?

Dieter Weißhaar: "The first step is to introduce modern IT platforms that digitize existing or optimized processes and provide employees with so-called collaboration platforms for digital collaboration. The rule is to start small and take one step at a time so that the first successes are quickly visible and usable. Digitization is a change management program that has to be supported by the top level of the company and should be accompanied by intensive communication."

Against the background of the Corona crisis, would you rather recommend cloud-based or traditional ERP systems?

Dieter Weißhaar: "Basically, in many industries, the operation of enterprise IT is not a business purpose, therefore, cloud solutions have some significant advantages. The infrastructure is virtually available on demand, the cyber security of professional cloud platforms of the larger providers should be mature and monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cloud platforms are automatically updated several times a year, both technologically and functionally. Therefore, I would recommend to get all standard systems from the cloud, as speed is increased and complexity is reduced. The operation of local systems would have to convince by a clear additional benefit."