Olaf Rotax dgroup Accenture © Olaf Rotax dgroup Accenture

DARQ, individual experience and cyber security crucial in 2019

Germany cannot miss out on these trends, digital expert Olaf Rotax writes in Hamburg News. Creative festivals like SXSW becoming increasingly important

New technologies are always a catalyst for change. Nowadays, companies are facing technological challenges include DARQ technologies (Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing. All of these are likely to trigger differentiation and disruptive technologies, said Olaf Rotax, Managing Director of dgroup in Hamburg, in an interview with Hamburg News. His company is one of Europe’s leading digital transformation consultancies and part of the global Accenture network.

Hamburg News: What are this year’s most exciting tech trends that Germany should not miss?

Olaf Rotax: In any case, the following trends are laying the foundation for the post-digital era: DARQ (Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), i.e. decentralized account books), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computers, individual experience + getting to know, man + machine, (cyber) security and marketplaces + platforms. By the way, a post-digital world does not mean that the digital sphere will cease to exist. On the contrary, everything revolves around the key question of how companies will stand out from their rivals even though they are developing their digital skills?

Hamburg News: Which of these are particularly relevant for the Hamburg region?

Olaf Rotax: DARQ (= Distributed Ledger + Artificial Intelligence + Extended Reality + Quantum Computing). This is where the next generation of internet becomes reality. The key question is how will companies in Hamburg prepare themselves for the reality of distributed ledgers etc.? How can industries such as logistics and the Port of Hamburg be redefined?

Individual experience + getting to know: The mass model is dying out. How can individual offers e.g. in stationary retail be created? Otto’s subsidiary Bonprix is presenting extremely innovative ideas in its new store in downtown Hamburg.

Man + machine: Machines replace simple tasks. The task facing Hamburg-based companies is to improve work and at the same time to take people on board and train them continuously.

Cyber security: One ongoing issue, and one data scandal after another. Hamburg-based companies urgently need to protect themselves from increasing threats and deal with the growing complexity of their defences.

Marketplaces + platforms: Marketplaces and platforms are replacing retail. About You, for instance, is increasingly replacing Otto, Deposit Solutions is revolutionizing the financial sector while Smaato is revolutionizing the mobile advertising market. What strategies are other Hamburg-based retailers like Tchibo or manufacturers like Nivea, Beiersdorf pursuing?

Hamburg News: How important are meetings such as creativity festivals like the South by Southwest (SXSW) presently underway in Austin, Texas?

Olaf Rotax: They are particularly relevant and important for the following reasons:

Spontaneous networking: The open and exciting people as well as the individual and spontaneous conversations make events like SXSW an emotional experience especially in the digital and partly anonymous era. The attraction lies not in the planned, but the spontaneous, and the question is always: “What have I learnt from my last conversation?

Broadening horizons: I can deal with issues that I don’t normally focus on and interact with people I wouldn’t otherwise meet and I can experience today what will be relevant tomorrow. From my point of view, SXSW is one of the world’s most important and valuable networking and business platforms.


DARQ technologies (Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computers) will be the next triggers of differentiation and disruptive technologies. As these mature and converge, enterprises can leverage them to further enhance their digital capabilities, creating intelligent and highly personalized, timely experiences that shape the lives of their customers, business partners, and employees.

Individual experience + getting to know
Technology-enabled interaction creates a technical identity for consumers. This is the key to understanding the next generation of consumers and creating individual, experiential relationships in the post-digital era.

Man + machine
In addition to existing human skills and experiences, people are increasingly acquiring technology-orientated skills to do new kinds of work in new ways. Companies urgently need to adapt their technology strategies to support their employees in the working reality of the post-digital era.

Cyber (security)
Global business relationships mean an increased potential risk for companies. Executives must be aware that when they work with ecosystems to deliver world-class products, services and experiences, (cyber) security must be part of their business direction and the “digital house’.

Marketplaces + platforms
The emphasis here is on meeting customer needs in real time, which is exactly what consumers expect in the age of Amazon & co. New technologies create a world full of intensely customized, on-demand experiences. Companies must adapt their organizations to these new conditions and seize the opportunities offered.

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