Hannover Messe 2017: The importance of embracing digital

Hannover Messe 2017: The importance of embracing digital
Çağlayan Arkan says companies from all sectors and of all sizes must ‘embark on the digital journey’

Toby Ingleton |

Companies must embrace new technologies and carry out a digital transformation in order to keep up with and differentiate themselves from emerging competition.

That’s the message from Çağlayan Arkan, general manager for Worldwide Manufacturing & Resources at Microsoft. Speaking at this week’s Hannover Messe event in Germany, Arkan has highlighted the situation today’s companies find themselves in.

“We believe there is not one industry or enterprise that is exempt from digital transformation and the impact of it,” Arkan said in a video interview for the Microsoft. “The interesting phenomenon about the digital era is that you have no idea where the disruption might come from and who your next competitor may be. It may be your legacy competitor moving faster into the digital world. It may be a completely new player. It may be a converged industry player. It may be a start up. You have no idea.”

This new digital era is allowing for new competitors to enter markets, thus altering the traditional model and bringing about previously unseen competition and challenges. Arkan says that while Uber and Airbnb have become classic examples of industry disruption, they ring true when it comes to new players impacting industries.

“They didn’t exist before, but in no time they’ve become prominent players and changed industries forever,” Arkan said. “So there’s no ‘not taking action’ type of attitude in the digital world. You must take action today, no matter how small or big you are and no matter what industry you are in.”

Arkan concluded by stressing that companies across all sectors and of all sizes must ‘embark on the digital journey’.

“There’s no right or wrong way of doing this,” he said. “The attitude has to be: start now, experiment, small steps, short cycles, fail fast, learn from it, go to the next one and embed a data culture. Look at data and almost that new religion of data, or become a data company yourself.”

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