An interview with Martin Schulze, CEO BusinessCode GmbH, Bonn
Why is it important to take a strategic approach to digitization in particular?
Today, a corporate strategy must be defined around the topic of digitization. All areas of a company are transformed by digitization, but not every area in the same way. A sense of proportion and experience are important here.
Only those who manage to individually position their company in the digital world will have a future. I deliberately emphasize the term individual, because there is not one, but only one company-specific strategy.
What is a strategic approach in this context?
I think it is important to keep the right balance between the continuous improvement of existing processes and products through digitization and the real innovation through radically new digital approaches. Many companies only do one or the other. But both are important.
How do you develop a suitable digitization strategy with your customers?
Our customers are the experts in their business environment. We support them with our technical expertise and experience. In this way we help our customers to integrate the new possibilities into their environment. So concretely: How can the topic cloud help me. Can I use analytics and machine learning to generate added value for my company or my customers? Or quite pragmatically: What do the new license rules for Java mean and how do I deal with them.
What is the difference between individual solutions and standard solutions?
With a standard solution, a provider generalizes the requirements of a large group of customers and maps them in a system with standardized processes. In the case of an individual solution, software is developed to fit the specific processes, products and requirements of a customer.
Both approaches have their justification and areas of application.
Is it true that individual solutions are automatically more expensive?
No. With a standard solution you always have to pay the full package, even if you only need a fraction of the functionality. And on the other hand, you need functionality that is not covered by the standard. Individual solutions, on the other hand, are no longer developed from scratch, but use a wide range of components and modules. Individual solutions are therefore often the cheaper option.
Which criteria can be identified that speak for the purchase of an individual solution?
It sounds amazing at first glance, but for the vast majority of applications there are no standard solutions at all. The decisive criterion, however, is already in the name: If the area of application for the solution is a standard process such as ERP or accounting, standard software is a good choice. However, if it goes to the core of your business, where you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors, be innovative, i.e. offer something individual, then an individual solution is probably the better choice.
Off to the cloud, right?
From our point of view, there is no alternative to the cloud. Decentralized, safe working is only possible in the long term by using appropriate cloud solutions. So for us the question “or” does not arise at all, but only the question of which cloud solution we work with. And this is exactly what we tell our customers. We will advise you on the choice of the right solution, because there are big differences here too. And then we support our customers during the ongoing process, ensuring that the solution is in line with the changing requirements.