Everyone agrees that a basic understanding of digital technologies is necessary to find one’s way in today’s world, both at work and in general life. 

In order to be effective, the foundations for a ‘basic digital understanding’ should be laid as early as possible, namely as part of our education: terms such as digitization, AI, and Industry 4.0 should appear in school curricula; at universities, a basic knowledge of digital technologies and their applications should be imparted in all fields of study (i.e., not only in the technical sciences and in computer science) in addition to the specialist knowledge within the respective field of study. 

But what about those who are already in a job and in the middle of their work life, those who went to school or graduated from university years or decades ago?  

Digitization is advancing with giant strides, new technologies are emerging in quick succession, innovative business models are changing the world. Digitization has an impact on all of us: not just on the way we work and on the content of our work, but also on our consumer behavior and our way of life. In an informal way, each one of us is constantly learning something new, and there is no question that formal learning does not end with school or university graduation, but instead we continue to learn ‘for a lifetime’.   

However, there is another aspect to consider: Research & Development does not and should not only happen in large companies.

Even if small and medium-sized companies usually don’t have an own R&D department, innovation is important for them as well. To make innovation happen and to enable a steady progress of the company, it needs employees who… 

  • … are creative 
  • … are open-minded and have a basic digital understanding 
  • … understand what implications digitization may have in their field 
  • … are both able and willing to ‘have a say’ in the way forward 
  • … like to interact and cooperate with others as a team 
  • … generate new ideas & adapt, develop, improve, and implement them 

Both innovation and the digital transformation of a company are very difficult, if not impossible, if employees don’t have the relevant knowledge and a basic digital understanding

Here you can find an overview about the most important digital transformations.