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Economy in Hamburg counting on digitalisation

New survey says companies see fewer obstacles than German average. Issue is a matter for managers in Hamburg companies

For around 90 per cent of companies in Hamburg, digitalisation is crucial for developing business and work processes, according to a survey of over 1,000 firms of all sizes and across every sector by the Chamber of Commerce. Prof. Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, CEO of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce said: “Digitalization opens up new chances for large parts of Hamburg’s business community, for instance, by increasing turnover or having a positive effect on the level of employment.”

Digitalization creates more sales

At the same time, digitalization is presenting Hamburg’s economy with new challenges, for example, in terms of investment and information requirements as well as the need for further education and employees’ qualifications. More than every second company expects digitalization to increase sales, the survey found. This compares to every third on average across Germany. Only every tenth firm in Hamburg expects sales losses.

In reference to factors of uncertainty and even more vigorous digitalization, every second company cited demands on IT security and legal insecurities. Digitalization is a matter for bosses in Hamburg and management in 63 per cent of companies promote it significantly. Around 5 per cent of companies in Hamburg say digitalisation is not currently relevant and will not be important for their business models in future.

Chamber of Commerce to offer help with digitalizaiton

In reference to Hamburg as a sustainable, business location, Schmidt-Trenz stressed the importance of “recognizing the challenges of digitalization and that Hamburg’s firms shape this actively. Waiting out such developments is not an option as digitalization is constantly creating ever more competitors and opportunities for newcomers to the market.” He added: “In that respect, it’s good that large parts of the business community see digitalization, and after carefully assessing the risks, mainly as a chance and are continually promoting their own digital processes.”

However, Schmidt-Trenz warned: “Companies that consistently refuse to tackle the issue will have problems keeping their footing on the market in the medium-term.” For this reason, the chamber will be expanding its information offer this year.

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