Angela Merkel introduced the national IT-summit, which is now renamed into ‘Digital-Summit’. It was designed to create a digital agenda, increase digitalization in Germany and hence to secure Germany’s competitiveness for the future in a digitalized world. However, after Merkel declared the ‘Internet as new ground for all of us’ in 2013 not a lot happened until now. Germany fell back even further: from place 15 to place 17.
Especially, broadband expansion and the low degree of attractiveness of digitalization to the majority of the German middle- and large-scale companies are the problems. The German broadband infrastructure was ranked 28th out of 32 by OECD. Germany risks loosing infrastructure for its industrial locations. Furthermore, most of the large and middle-scale companies in Germany fear the risks of digitalization more than valuing its benefits and improvements. Even if the companies see the benefits, most of the time the decision to modernize and digitalize is driven by cost-saving factors rather than by developing new business models and concepts.
Room for hope: the increased number of start-ups as well as more and more graduates who rather start their career in those more digitalized as well as future-oriented companies than in more stable, though older and more backwards oriented companies.
In light of this Berlin is on the best way. It is attracting more and more startups.