Digitization enables breakthroughs that have probably not been seen on this scale since the industrial revolution – new possibilities are opening up every day through technical progress. But what innovations can I establish as a CEO in my company?

Metaverse, Gigafactory, biological source code, AI, CGI or NFT – are some of the new innovative advances. A closer look reveals that there is still a need to catch up. In order to master digitization processes successfully and sustainably, the following trends should play a strategic role:

In the course of digitization, contact points from companies to their target groups are increasing exponentially. According to IDC, by 2025, every person with internet access will have 5,000 digital interactions per day. From the website to social media channels to the virtual metaverse – content at all touchpoints determines the quality of the individual customer experiences with companies.

In addition to consistent branding, the human factor, the human experience, is becoming increasingly important. This requires creative leeway as well as individual, data-based content set-ups that plan, produce and play out content in an agile manner. Because brands and people want to generate resonance, interact with each other and learn from each other. And that transparently and authentically.

A Havas study shows that more and more customers approach brands with a certain skepticism. It is all the more important that brands and companies know what the specific wishes or problems of their customers are. With which they can inspire and create lasting experiences. How added value is created for people and the environment.

Annika-Sophie Butt is responsible for marketing as Director

With ever-increasing networking, the amount of data from interactions between humans, machines and objects is increasing rapidly. And with it the requirement for security. In his book “Homo Deus” Yuval Noah Harari describes this “dataism” as a new worldview in which economics is understood as a mechanism to collect data about desires and abilities and to transform them into decisions. This holds enormous potential for progress in the direction of biotechnology and artificial intelligence – but at the same time there are also great risks if data is misused.

Phishing, ransomware, DDoS attacks – according to Bitkom, 88 percent of companies were attacked by hackers in 2020/2021. The damage caused to companies has more than quadrupled compared to previous years. In 2020, the BKA recorded over 108,000 cybercrime cases – and the trend is rising. Paralyzed IT infrastructures or ransom demands are possible consequences.

In addition, there is the data ethics in your own company: customers rely on the secure handling of their data, lost trust is difficult to regain. The correct handling of IT security offers a clear competitive advantage. CEOs should know exactly how their company is positioned in terms of handling data and plan the topic strategically.

Unprecedented wildfires, storms and floods. Climate change is more visible than ever with depressing proximity and needs quick solutions, which – supported by political decisions – have to be supported by companies in particular. The climate protection goals specify a decarbonization of 65 percent by 2030, 88 percent by 2040 and complete greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045.

If bold decisions are made now, new technologies can play a key role in a climate-neutral world. For renewable energies, the decarbonization of mobility, for the adaptation of urban space, the decoupling of energy sources such as gas, oil and coal, the expansion of hydrogen storage and many other measures. Countless amounts of data are required for this. The basis for this is enormous and reliable data management, which will probably result in the world’s largest digitization project.

For companies, the following therefore applies: Sustainability affects everyone. Company bosses have a duty to take responsibility and promote positive change. McKinsey also states that sales of consumer goods that focus on sustainability are growing seven times faster than those of conventional products. So why not use competitive advantages for your own company and at the same time invest in sustainable added value for the environment?

Digitization is the greatest opportunity for inclusion and diversity in companies. Video telephony enables a worldwide exchange, artificial intelligence can objectify prejudiced hiring processes. Translation tools overcome language barriers and people with disabilities can be (re)integrated more easily into the world of work with digital assistants.

So the best prerequisite for revising recruiting in the company and hiring on an equal footing. According to a McKinsey study, diverse teams have a 25 percent higher probability of success. Because without diversity, an important exchange of different perspectives, strengths, values ​​and ideas is lost. The topic can often seem like a big hurdle at the beginning.

The most important thing: take the first step – ideally together with managers and human resources. Build internal and external networks and make it easier for your employees to participate. Start mentoring programs for juniors and experienced professionals and offer anti-bias training, especially for managers. Because the mindset makes the decisive difference for a successful diversity strategy.

After years in the nerd niche, the digitization of the financial world is finding its way into the mainstream of society with the help of new technologies. With the possibility of investing in shares or ETFs via smartphone, the number of shareholders in Germany has increased significantly. Young people in particular have increasingly turned their attention to digital financial issues. Online payment services such as Paypal are also being used by more and more people and are gradually digitizing their wallets. The app registered over 29 million users in Germany at the end of 2020 – an increase of 14 percent compared to the previous year.

This development is further promoted by the pandemic, as many people do without cash or switch to online shopping altogether. The hype surrounding NFTs, which are sold for impressive amounts in the millions, is also fueling interest and bringing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Co. into focus. These developments are a great opportunity for companies to find points of contact with and for target groups and not only to observe the future of the financial world, but to actively shape it.

The Mission Female business network, founded by Frederike Probert, is actively committed to more female power in business, society, media, culture, sports and politics. It unites successful women across all industries with the aim of making further professional progress together.