Reinhard Clemens, chief executive of Deutsche Telekom’s IT services arm, is optimistic about the digitization of industry – even though some say Germany lags behind. Speaking with Handelsblatt, he said the country needs to move faster toward high-speed Internet – and plenty of opportunities abound for companies prepared to make the digital leap.
Handelsblatt: Two years ago, you said in the first round of the race toward digitization, Germany had missed the boat. How are things looking now?
Reinhard Clemens: I think we can probably agree that we lost the digital race for private customers internationally. But when it comes to the digital transformation of industry, we still have a chance and we have to use it. Germany is an export nation; manufacuturing is our strength. There’s still a lot of potential for us in digitizing processes inside and outside factories.
How is Germany doing today?
Major corporations are well aware of how much potential there is in this area. Small and mid-size companies held back for quite some time, but that’s changed recently. Around 80 percent of them will have digitized their processes in the next five years – 20 percent of them have done so already. It’s a topic they’re increasingly aware of.