The Digital Summit Liechtenstein is an event in Vaduz where decision-makers from business, science, and politics discuss the challenges ahead and how to improve Liechtenstein’s digital economy. This year, the event format was slightly different, and so were the topics discussed.

COVID or not, Liechtenstein has made its digital summit happen. To make sure as many people as possible could join, the participants could either come and visit the event in Vaduz or join the live-stream. The event theme was “the new normal.”

The event was about digitalization in the COVID-era and how to make it happen in Liechtenstein. Decision-makers from business, science, and politics joined the event to discuss the challenges and opportunities.

COVID and digitalization will change work culture

Daniel Risch, Liechtenstein’s minister of the economy, shared his view on the current situation and how the government can contribute to moving digital projects forward. He also explained that a survey among Liechtenstein’s administrative staff found that 70 percent would like to have the opportunity to also work from home in the future.

That’s a trend which speaker Stephan Sigrist observes as well. He believes home office could become the norm rather than the exception. Tino Krause, Facebook’s Head of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, said, “home office is much more sustainable.” He points to the decrease in air traffic and explains that up until last year, he flew in an airplane almost every week.

“Because of the ‘new normal,’ I spend much more time with my kids,” says Krause. “That’s nice.” He also explains how he saves more time, as he doesn’t have to go anywhere for meetings. “You can start the next meeting right away after ending the previous meeting.” Already today, he says, home office has become a core part of Facebook’s strategy.

Yvonne Bettkober, General Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS), said the main challenge to foster innovation is to create the right work culture. “You have to convince people of your vision,” she says. “That’s a lot of work.” In the end, however, Bettkober believes convincing people is more important than the actual technology.

COVID changed digital behaviors

It’s not just the home office that will define the new normal. Bettkober explained how cloud-solutions would increasingly become a standard in small and medium-sized businesses. Cloud-based services are cost-effective, secure, and enable small businesses to outsource some of the work which they can’t take care of themselves.

Krause explained how customers have changed their behavior online since the outset of the COVID-crisis and how businesses have to adapt their marketing and sales efforts in this new era during and after the pandemic. That is especially visible in sales numbers of e-commerce stores.

Sigrist summarized how the COVID-pandemic has changed existing paradigms and will result in a new normal that shows the opportunities and risks of an interconnected world. And that’s the challenge events like the digital summit aim to tackle. It was organized by digital-liechtenstein.li, an initiative that aims at pushing digital transformation and innovation in Liechtenstein. It is supported by the Liechtenstein government and more than 50 companies and organizations, which all want to contribute developing Liechtenstein’s digital economy.

You can view the full live-stream of the event here: https://vimeo.com/456300327#at=1837

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