Is the digital office already a reality in German companies or still just wishful thinking? The Bitkom Digital Association wanted to find out and this year conducted a follow-up to their Digital Office Index of 2016. The digital transformation has strengthened in companies. Over half of the companies surveyed want to invest more in digitization. EASY summarizes the results and looks at where there is still a need for action.

Background to the study – Bitkom Digital Office Index

Overall, the digitization of business and office processes offers a high potential for optimization and is the prerequisite for efficient, up-to-date work in companies. Over 1100 companies with more than 20 employees in every industry were surveyed for the study on the status of digitization in German offices. Therefore, the study is representative for the economy as a whole. The questions fall into three categories: prerequisites for digitization (technology, personnel, attitude toward the digitization company culture), digitization progress and digitization effects and perspectives.

Key results: since 2016, the digital office has moved steadily forward

Two thirds (67 percent) of all companies surveyed fall into the categories digital pioneer, above average digitization and average digitization and were therefore categorized by Bitkom as up-to-date in digitization. On the other hand, that means a third of companies need to catch up.
Digitization strategies were implemented in companies more frequently in comparison to 2016. Here, it was primarily medium-sized businesses which had caught up: in 2016, 52 percent had strategically digitized their business processes, while in 2018, it was ten percent more. Small companies with less than 100 employees also improved by ten percent (36 percent).

Different understanding of digitization depending on company size

Large companies, with 500 or more employees, feel more digitally positioned and earn an index value of 63, while small companies with fewer than 100 employees achieve a value of 53. Mid-sized companies are well in the average. Understanding of the term digitization is also different. While larger companies consider the automation of business processes holistically, change their entire company culture and expand their portfolios with digital services, smaller companies connect the digital office with the support of company processes, such as the digitization of paper files or electronic bookkeeping. However, the change of the company culture is particularly decisive for a successful digitization in companies ( While large companies use ECM solutions from the Cloud at an above-average rate (83 percent), the Cloud does not play such a large role for smaller companies.

Investments in the digital office pay off

According to Bitkom, the expectations of companies with regard to digital solutions for the management of the office organization have largely been met. The best result is with regard to the internal performance of office and management processes. In addition, over two thirds of ECM users indicate that the automation of company processes is increasing. Overall, the willingness of the companies surveyed to invest further in digitization is growing. Almost half of companies see an increase in investment over the course of 2018.

Fill the gaps in the digital office

Now it is up to the broad range of mid-sized and small companies to push ahead with their digitization, consider it holistically and fill in the gaps, step by step. EASY beyond strategy consulting provides a web tool to give companies an orientation in the implementation of their digitization. Find out your degree of digitization and benchmark against the Bitkom Digital Office Index to check the status of digitization in your company and to identify the next steps.

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About Thomas Meysel
Thomas Meysel has been product manager for EASY applications since June 2016. In his spare time he travels as a passionate hobby chef and author of cookbooks on East African cuisine. If the cooking results are unsuccessful, he reduces his frustration by going to the Borussia Dortmund football stadium.
Thomas Meysel
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