Quick Questions

Three questions on digitization

The topic of digitization is on everyone's lips but is understood very differently. First of all, it generally refers to the conversion of analogue content or processes into digital ones. However, it can and will lead to far-reaching changes in the private and public sectors, in the economy, politics and society.

Q: What does digitization mean to you?

Annabel Hengelmann: Digitization opens up a fascinating world of new and infinite possibilities. Digitization alone is not so decisive here; the added value is created by networking, i.e. the availability and expandability of data.

I see three main aspects of digitization that will help us deal with the issues of climate change and scarcity of resources and social change.

Monotonous and heavy work is already often done by machines today; in the future, however, more complex tasks will be able to be performed by robots. Automatically controlled processes will thus create more interesting jobs.

Another aspect I see in the possibility of being able to trace raw materials in products in detail, which, in addition to safety, makes it possible to recycle the individual raw materials. This serves sustainability.

And finally, automation reduces the frequency of errors, makes processes faster and thus makes companies more competitive.

Q: What experience do you have with digitization? What inspires you about it?

A: Over the last few years I have gained experience in a wide range of areas such as railways, concrete products and building services engineering. Here I have gained knowledge about automation and simplifying processes, I have introduced intelligent components that can be precisely traced to the market and I have dealt with the combination of data with systems and processes to facilitate operations and save raw materials.

I am fascinated by these possibilities that can arise from networked thinking. What I find interesting is to analyse developments and innovations, which are first created in a completely different field and were intended for a different application to understand how they can be adapted for classic industries, how added value can be generated by this development and how they must change to remain sustainable. What kind of new business idea is needed?

Q: How do you want to contribute to shaping this digital change?

A: I would like to share the fascination for digitalization, to search for areas of application with companies and thus proactively and positively shape change and transformation. I would like to actively collaborate to find new possibilities and together integrate the appropriate aspects into the organization. Because every good idea needs the right organization and the best, motivated employees for extraordinary success.