German-speaking companies have seen little change in their product offering as a result of digitalization

Many companies expect digitalization to boost sales in coming years, but, so far, relatively few are already seeing this trend materialize, according to a new poll conducted by management consultants Horvath & Partners.

The survey of 200 decision makers in German speaking companies found that 52 pc see some sales growth as a result of digitalization.

But almost all companies managed to increase productivity and lower costs as a result of new digital technologies. Best results were booked in IT, logistics & supply chain, production and marketing.

Executives said digitalization has, so far, had relatively little impact on their companies’ product offerings. Only 37 pc said digitalization has helped them introduce new products.

And fewer than half of the executives said digitalization has helped them open up new markets, develop new business models, or attract new types of customers.

Horvath & Partners attributed the relatively modest impact of digitalization to companies’ general lack of flexibility in their business approach.

“If companies want to realize their hopes of sizable sales increases, they have to say goodbye to the rules that apply to existing business models and engage in totally new thinking,” Horvath partner Rainer Zierhofer said in a press release.