The importance of digital advantage and its risks

What I have learned after more than 10 years of constantly following new technologies ...

  1. Requirements
  2. The learning
  3. The risks
  4. Conclusion

We live in a time when everything revolves around digital media, and in those days, a company that offers digital products, such as: websites, apps, or similar applications should always be at least one step ahead of the competition.

In this post, I would like to discuss how to get this lead and how to take that step cleanly with as little risk as possible.


Of course, the biggest measurement to be ahead of the competition are the employees. A company with a crew that always has a 40-hour weeks can not talk about digital advantage. It is virtually impossible to track technology progress and to work on the side.

At least one in the crew has to privately deal with new topics and technologies in order to be the forerunner in the company. The more colleagues deal with these issues, the better. Thereby experiences can be exchanged, learnings can be given and even higher steps can be dared.

Another requirement is the ability of the management and the management to take certain risks. No new technology can be implemented without taking a couple of swipes. For this, the management must let those who really deal with new topics and pave their way, so they can get to their destination faster and the company can benefit from it.

The learning

Now we come to the individuals who should learn and advance the company. These must have two essential properties:

  1. Individual responsibility
  2. Ambition

Self-responsibility is a prerequisite because these employees have to learn from themselves and have to be able to test what they have learned in private projects. However, if these individuals have no sense of responsibility and are testing everything they have learned on company projects for the first time, it can have ridiculous or serious consequences for a company.

Self-responsibility also means that the person knows his own limits and does not overstrain them. Did not you understand something? Ask and do not tell fairy tales. Can’t you do something? Take a more careful look at it and do not copy the works of others!

Ambition is important so that these people do not give up immediately. New technologies, programming languages and interfaces always carry a responsibility. Here, the person may not despair and give up very quickly on their problems, but must always have the whole project in front of their eyes and find if necessary quick alternatives.

I can still remember that I suggested something to a project manager and the designer got the idea right. It was decided that we would program the thing I suggested for the client, and back at my desk my programmer-colleague asked me: Do you know how to program what you have suggested? And I just answered: No, but I will learn it.

I learned, programmed, tested and the customer was satisfied. This brings us to the last point when it comes to digital progress.

The risks

The biggest risk is the programmer’s misjudgment on the part of the project manager and the lack of self-assessment of the programmer. This shows that the only thing the project manager can trust is what the programmer promises him. In return, the project manager goes to the customer with this information and makes promises to him.

In the end, it turns out that the programmer was unable to keep his promise, and the project manager, who also represents the face of the company at the same time, end up as an amateur and is exposed by the customer. Rightly so. This can have very dangerous consequences for a company and should always be approached with caution.


Of course, it is interesting for a company to be ahead of its competitors, but this goal should be followed with caution. You have to be sure that the employees are really competent in their work and trust them.

As a programmer you have to be aware that new technologies can not mean: It’s time to leave, I’m going home. This street is then closed and you have to finish your work and bring it home if necessary.

Maybe some of you now think that this is wrong when someone brings the work home. Yes that’s also right. However, we also talked about responsibility in the article. A self-responsible person is able to recognize his mistakes and his misjudgment, bathes his mistakes and ensures that it never happens again.


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