Digitalization in Germany and Europe: A Conversation with Rudolf Scharping

In the context of our x4in summit 2023, we had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with Rudolf Scharping, former Federal Minister, founder and CEO of RSBK AG, as well as a member of the xalution advisory board, regarding digitalization in Germany and Europe. Mr. Scharping, a politician and management consultant, shares insightful perspectives on innovation potential, recommendations for mid-sized businesses, and the comparison between the private sector and the public sector concerning digital transformation.

Germany’s Position in the International Comparison

According to Mr. Scharping, Europe possesses considerable innovation potential, particularly in the realms of digitalization and artificial intelligence. However, he emphasizes the need for determination and speed to advance globally significant developments. He identifies a significant gap compared to countries such as the United States, India, and China.

Recommendations for the German Mid-sized Businesses

Mr. Scharping suggests that Germany’s mid-sized businesses are already well-positioned on an international scale. Nevertheless, he highlights the need to explore new markets, especially in South America and Africa. He underscores that entering these markets requires more than just economic interest; cultural understanding and respect are crucial.

Digitalization: Private Sector vs. Public Sector

Regarding digitalization in the private and public sectors, Mr. Scharping observes that the private sector is notably more advanced. He believes that the public sector, in his assessment, lags behind internationally in this domain. He highlights examples like electronic health records and tax systems but also notes room for improvement.

What Can the Public Sector Learn?

Mr. Scharping advocates for increased accountability, clear objectives, and a willingness to take risks. He also emphasizes the importance of a creative approach and the ability to motivate employees.


Rudolf Scharping underscores that both Germany and Europe hold substantial potential in the realm of digitalization, which should be harnessed swiftly and decisively. He suggests that German mid-sized businesses and the public sector should reconsider their strategies and be open to new possibilities.

You can watch the full interview with Rudolf Scharping in the accompanying video.

Thank you very much for the conversation, Mr. Scharping.

Interview with Rudolf Scharping (German language):