Boosting companies’ digitalisation – regardless of their size – brings all-round advantages: efficiency gains, workflow optimisation, better collaboration, compliance security and much more. Yet there is a further aspect that frequently comes into this context: demographic shifts.
The fact is: the German and European population is shrinking. In many industries the lack of expertise is already noticeable, many companies are facing recruitment problems. And lastly, when the baby boomers reach retirement age in about ten years, and there are fewer of their offspring to succeed them, companies are threatened by a loss of talent or a brain-drain of considerable degree.
Knowledge Monopoly: a Gift for Companies
There is already talk of replacement solutions to cover holiday and sickness. Yet in comparison to the loss of employees through demographic changes, short-term absenteeism is a mere blip. Whoever relies wholly on them already knows, that the important people are those at interfaces and in support functions, who know where what is, what is in any Contract and what is happening, which threatens a rude awakening.
Digitalisation keeps a Company Fit
Those who want to prepare for the challenge, however, are well advised to digitise their company. Otherwise with each employee who leaves, it loses a piece of its sovereignty and agility. And then there is exposure to risk. The risks of missing deadlines, not fulfilling agreements. Or simply, being unable to work reliably. Companies that have a high staff turnover have long recognised this and know that Know-How Management and the struggle against Knowledge monopolies is important to a company’s fitness.
Loss of Know-How threatens all industries
So there is no role for it in whichever division or at whichever desk an employee sits. Both the manager and his secretary should apply their specific knowledge of the company for this result. Equally, whether in contracts or accounting systems, in human resources or in finance departments, in development or in marketing it applies: Know-how should be separated from those who have that Know-how – so the company ship can safely enter harbours with new sailors.
Newly recruited staff must be able to do their job reliably, without long probation periods. Information at the press of a button is needed. Digital processes and workflows help with this, likewise a digital archive. With these in place demographic shifts lose some of their horror.