Not even 40 % of companies in Germany use digitization to capture experience data (X-Data) of their stakeholders (customers, employees, partners, suppliers). And of these companies, only about 42 % link this data with traditional data such as sales, processing times, etc. (Operational Data or O-Data). This is the sobering result of a representative study in which EASY SOFTWARE AG and KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (KPMG) interviewed 400 companies in Germany on the topics of digitization and experience management. A further result: Almost 60 % of the respondents are dissatisfied with their degree of digitization. More than 80 % see this as a threat to the future viability of their company.

German companies lag behind when it comes to digitization. Only around 50 % of the companies surveyed have digitized up to 20 % of their end-to-end processes. Only around 8 % have already digitized more than half of their processes. This depresses the mood among German companies: over 58 % are dissatisfied with the degree of digitization of their company. In particular, more than 85 % of companies, especially those in the retail sector, are hoping for higher customer satisfaction and increased efficiency as a result of digitization. The possibility of new digital business models is currently still underused, but the digitization of business processes is a decisive factor for long-term competitiveness, as the study shows: More than 80 % of companies fear that the sustainability of their business will be threatened if they do not keep pace with digitization. “Unfortunately, actual digitization is not keeping pace with the ubiquitous verbal openness of decision-makers,” states Dieter Weißhaar, CEO of EASY SOFTWARE AG.

Experience Management – not yet arrived in Germany

The most successful companies today, like Apple or Amazon, are Experience Companies. They collect experience data (X-Data) in real time and link it with the operational data (O-Data) of their stakeholders – such as employees, customers or suppliers – and offer them the perfect experience with the help of feedback. Strategies are aligned with the perceptions of the interaction partners, resulting in increased customer loyalty and revenue – and the ultimate competitive advantage. But do German companies use Experience Management?

While Experience Management has already arrived in the USA, it is still in its infancy in Germany. Almost 60 % of CEOs in Germany are still unaware of the topic. And only around 39 % of the companies surveyed, particularly large B2B companies, collect experience data (X-Data), but only rarely (every four to six months). The interest group that is the focus of the collection of this data today and in the future (in the next two years) is mainly the customers: For almost 96 % of respondents, Experience Data is therefore equated with Customer Experience Data. Feedback from employees, partners and suppliers, on the other hand, is rarely collected. If Experience Data is also collected from other interest groups, 44 % of all decision-makers expect a negative reaction from colleagues to this practice. And to push it to the extreme: Even if X-Data is collected, it is only linked to O-Data in 4 out of 10 cases. Nowadays, the potentials are not even used to some extent. “If data are the most important raw material of the 21st century, then German companies leave their fuel in the tanks and instead put horses in front of their wagons,” says KPMG partner Henning Bauwe, drawing a vivid comparison.

Conclusion: German companies are not tapping their full potential

German companies have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to digitizing their business processes. This is an important prerequisite, e.g. to be able to successfully implement Experience Management in your own company in the next stage. Only around 39 % of the respondents collect experience data and only around 42 % link it with operational data. The potential for recognising trends and improving customer loyalty is untapped. An enormous waste of resources. In addition, the focus is still exclusively on the customer. Experience Management can also be helpful in the area of employee, partner or supplier satisfaction. “If companies hope that digitization will above all increase customer satisfaction, they must approach this important task consistently and holistically. Everything else is piecemeal,” says EASY CEO Dieter Weißhaar.

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Survey of decision-makers in German companies

In July 2019, EASY SOFTWARE and KPMG surveyed 400 companies in Germany. In a total of over 110 hours, the decision-makers of these companies from trade, industry, and the service sector were asked a total of 28 questions on digitization. More than half of the companies are active in both the B2B and B2C sectors. Three quarters (over 75 %) have an annual turnover of up to EUR 50 million and up to 500 employees (over 80 %). 

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EASY SOFTWARE AG, headquartered in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, has been developing intuitive, customized software products for digitizing business processes for customers since 1990. These can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems and automated, mobilized and optimized workflows worldwide. EASY provides these solutions on-premises, in the cloud and mobile. With over 12,800 cross-industry installations, EASY SOFTWARE AG is one of the market leaders for software products and solutions in Germany. The company is active in 60 countries and currently employs more than 375 people. EASY SOFTWARE has a network of around 100 partners. Its international subsidiaries are located in Europe, Asia and the USA. With the acquisition of Apinauten GmbH from Leipzig, which offers the ApiOmat multi-experience platform, EASY SOFTWARE AG made a significant technology acquisition at the end of 2018. This offers access to new customer segments in the attractive and strongly growing cloud business. In fiscal year 2018, the EASY SOFTWARE Group generated revenues of EUR 46.6 million.

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