The big mistake in “selling” digitalization to the chemical industry and how we do better


Innovation Consulting, Berlin, Germany


In this opinion piece, it is asked: What can be done, to bring Digitalization more up to speed for the Chemical Industry? The focus is on us – the people who try to “sell” digitalization to the industry. Much to often we do not speak the language of the decision makers or experts in chemical industry. We fail to define a valuable business case for the Digital Transformation or sell mainly on a “cost saving” case. The article evaluates the mistakes and proposes a better approach: curating the digital tools and supporting our clients in Chemical Industry to transform their organizations into a digital, data-centred culture.


Interesting times are ahead for the Chemical Industry. Many changes will impact the future of their business model: shifts and therefore insecurities in raw material supply, new competition from near- and far east, increased regulation. On top of it, the Digitalization catalyses a new industrial revolution. Insecurity rises. What will be the impact on our industry? What is real, what is hype?

Innovative and adaptable as it has always been, the chemical industry takes this challenge and puts the Digital Transformation on its strategic agenda. The way to Digital Transformation for incumbent organizations has to be one that combines evolutionary approaches with opening the organization for identifying and taking disruptive opportunities. Consequent digitalization of the processes and operations is one key initiative in the transformation process. But much too often, the industry is still hesitating. Necessary transformation projects kept on hold or are stalling.

So what can be done, to bring Digitalization more up to speed for the Chemical Industry?


There are many pitfalls and roadbl ...