The title “Best Digital Innovation Unit 2021” was awarded to “Körber-Geschäftsfeld Digital”, “Wayra” (Telefónica Innovation), and “EnBW Innovation”.
For the fifth time, experts from Infront Consulting and Capital have examined the results of Digital Innovation Units by German corporations and medium-sized enterprises. Both, successfully commercialized innovations close to the core business, as well as outside the core business were evaluated equally:
- Core business innovation at the borders of today’s business activities, to expand business in existing markets
- Non-core business innovation, outside of today’s business activities, to tap new markets
The analysis was conducted using an extensive online questionnaire, as well as personal interviews with the Head of the respective Digital Innovation Units. Furthermore, the managers responsible in their parent companies (E.g., CEO, CDO, Strategy Manager) were also questioned. Additionally, a ‘post mortem analysis’ was conducted this year, where closed or re-integrated units were examined.
The success of a Digital Innovation Unit also comes and goes with its strategy alignment and form of organization. Dr. Felix Lau, Lea-Theresa Münch, and Thomas Sindemann, the study’s directors, have identified two success patterns, differing regarding business purpose and organizational implementation:
- Digital Business Units focusing on the purpose of scaling, advancing the core business in the area of digitalization, running in parallel to existing business units
- Innovation platforms with a broader innovation and transformation purpose, bundled in a hub, as an accelerator for innovations within and outside the core business.
The authors’ suggestion derived from this study is: “The blueprints are available. Now, all it takes is courage and strategy, but also endurance, to emerge as a winner in the increasingly fast world of digitalization.”
“Corporations on the Track of Start-ups 2021” was conducted by the strategy- and management consultancy Infront Consulting & Management, in cooperation with the economy magazine Capital in the first half of 2021. 49 units participated in the study. It was published for the fifth year in a row in 2021.
- Find the complete study here.