ENG: "Integrate controlling into digital projects"

World politics and economy remain unpredictable: companies should develop an individual digitization strategy and keep costs in mind

"Munich, January 2017: Unexpected election results, economic and political crises, as well as the smoldering conflicts in the world, make it almost impossible for medium and long-term business planning. For this reason, companies should always be able to adapt flexibly to uncertainties. Besides there is also the fast-paced digitalization with its abrupt technology development. For companies without a suitable digital strategy, this can mean a fast turnaround. After all, the issue of digitalization has arrived into companies. 69 percent see now technological change as an opportunity, but only a quarter of them believe they are well prepared for it.

The experts from Roland Berger and the International Association of Controllers (ICV) show in their new "Operations Efficiency Radar - the top leverage for the CFO Agenda 2017" the focus areas of top managers in this challenging environment for the year 2017 and where there is need to catch up.

Dangerous loss of meaning of controlling and finance

„In the context of the economically and politically uncertain environment, more efficient production and an optimized product portfolio will remain the most important topics on the CFO agenda," says Roland Berger partner Oliver Knapp. "Purchasing is becoming the third most important lever in 2017."

On the other hand, controlling and finance are increasingly losing their importance. Only 33 percent of companies surveyed say that controlling is involved in the digitization projects of other companies. "This is worrying, because in case to develop innovative business models in the course of the digitization, companies need controlling more than ever - in the sense of business conscience in the company," explains Carmen Zillmer, an ICV Board Member. "Controllers in their role as "business partners of management" have the important task and opportunity to act as a qualifier."

Individual digitalization strategy instead of general actionism

Compared to the past few years, the surveyed companies rate the topics for 2017 very differently depending on the sector. "This is a very positive development," notes Sebastian Ostermayer from Roland Berger. "Technological change affects the respective industries in different areas. In order to successfully master digitalization, different approaches are therefore required depending on the sector."

As the survey shows, companies are challenging digital change. Thus, 59 percent of the surveyed companies expect radical changes through digitization. At the same time there is great uncertainty as to how the development will change the existing business model. "Digital change cannot be tackled by general actionism," says Knapp. "Focusing on one's own industry and its challenges is the right path: the individual need for action can only be determined on the basis of analyzing the digital trends in the company's own business and a corresponding digitization strategy."

However, the cost of digital projects must also be kept in mind across all industries. "Companies have to manage the balancing act between meaningful investments in digital transformation and healthy finances," explains Carmen Zillmer. "In order to adapt financially to the digital future, controlling should therefore be increasingly integrated into digital projects."

You can download the study on: https://www.icv-controlling.com/en/association/literature/studien.html

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Roland Berger:

Roland Berger, founded in 1967, is the only one of the world's leading corporate consultancies with German origin and European roots. With around 2 400 employees in 34 countries, the company is successfully active in all globally important markets. The 50 offices of Roland Berger are located at central business locations worldwide. The consulting company is an independent partnership, which is the exclusive property of around 220 partners.

Internationale Association of Controllers e.V. (ICV):

The International Controller Association (ICV) has in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and 12 other countries in Central and Eastern Europe around 6,500 in practical Controlling active members. The key objective of ICV controlling philosophy is reaching permanent economic success. With its honorary chairman Dr. Albrecht Deyhle the association, founded in 1975 has shaped the Controlling in German speaking countries placed and influenced. The ICV merges controllers, CFOs, managers and scientists and it is strictly oriented its members’ benefit. Experience, communication and being focused on future-oriented trends are foundations of ICV. ICV combines practical experience with the latest research results and prepares its knowledge for practical implementation. The ICV is makes personal contribution to the success of its members and to the sustainable performance of companies. Siegfried Gänßlen is the chairman of ICV, CEO of Hansgrohe SE, Schiltach, Vice-Chairman of ICV is Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, FH Steyr.


If you have questions, please contact:


Claudia Russo

Roland Berger

Head of Regional Marketing & Communications

Germany and Switzerland

Tel.: +49 89 9230-8190

e-mail: Claudia.Russo{bei}rolandberger.com



Hans-Peter Sander

ICV Press


Ammersee Denkerhaus – Coworking Space

Tel. +49 8807-94 90 94

e-mail: Presse{bei}icv-controlling.com