For the second year in a row, the MSc students at ICN welcomed Dr. Christian König, a Senior Business Consultant at ROI based in Munich. With offices around the globe, ROI has made its name specializing in industrial digitization, manufacturing, logistics, and supply chain management – all essential competencies for the industrial marketer in today’s age.
An expert in digital production and logistics, Dr. König outlined how digital innovation redefines businesses, disrupts markets, and changes the way we work. But don’t be mistaken: the pathway to “industry 4.0” (the catchall phrase that describes automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies) is not a linear one. And significant barriers to digital transformation include a lack of infrastructure, funding, skill, and above all, a deep-seated fear of losing control (think: Hollywood’s I, RobotorEx Machina). But can we decipher fact from fiction? Will technology control and manipulate employees as business processes become more automated? Or can humans act as conductors of value creation?
To be sure, the solutions are not so clear cut. A majority of companies have yet to define an overall data and digitization strategy. Many complain of a shortage of skilled workers in the necessary fields of digital competence. And yet, as Dr. König made clear, our predictions regarding the impact of technology in the past (especially about Big Data) have been vastly underestimated. .
Later, the students put their cyber-skills to the test: identifying various digital opportunities for medium-sized production companies. Together, they identified how digitalization might be optimized to improve advertising efficiency as well as post-sale communication and maintenance.
In addition to offering us a glimpse into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Dr. König shared with us what it takes to make it or break it in this career path. While an “up or out” ideology has long defined consultancy firms, he emphasized that in today’s climate, one’s staying potential depends much more on their digital analytical skills, critical thinking abilities, and their experience working in international and multicultural teams.
For all of these insights – we would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Dr. König and ROI. We look forward to welcoming him back next year at our campus in Berlin!
I've been lucky enough to find a career that combines my love of traveling, passion for educating, and need to work in sweatpants at least 50% of the time (see I really am American).