1 FOM University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 217-231
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.0102
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
The acronym VUCA describes our current economic situation and environment but is not widely used in Germany. The IT industry & education is characterized like no other by rapid technological change, great dynamism and high flexibility. Despite the very high demands of its employees, it is a pioneer in new forms of collaboration, in successful design of human resources and creation of an attractive working environment (Work 4.0 - New Work).

How does VUCA apply to the IT industry & education? In this paper, the following factors were systematically examined:
1. VUCA in the context of strategy development, globalization, digitalization, demographic change and new demands from employees and customers;
2. VUCA in the context of corporate culture and the current challenges of the Corona pandemic;
3. VUCA in the context of competitive advantage, organizational resilience, core competencies, agility, speed of response, and adaptability.

What does a VUCA-appropriate corporate culture look like in the IT industry? How can this make an IT company crisis-proof (resilient) and fit for the future? Through this scientific study, the following components of a VUCA-appropriate corporate culture have emerged: Clearly defined corporate values, a clear vision and mission, an understandable purpose, VUCA strategies, corporate culture activities and KPIs. In this context, trust towards all stakeholders takes a key role. In the present research, various actions to build trust have been identified. In addition, the result is that trust, innovation, customer focus, equality and authenticity are key values of a VUCA-appropriate corporate culture. Furthermore, the importance of corporate culture for retaining employees and attracting new talents was researched. The workplace atmosphere, freedom of action, a sense of purpose, and an appreciative approach were found to be essential. Particularly in crisis situations, when direct, personal contact is lost, the importance of corporate culture for companies becomes evident, as does how crucial a state-of-the-art corporate culture is. A framework based on expert knowledge from leading IT companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce have been developed. The VUCA framework is considered as best practice and supports the two main tasks of a company: acting and reacting to external demands such as changes in the market and competition and ensuring the internal cohesion of the organization.

How can this culture be established? The developed framework includes a pragmatic approach for a successful establishment and follows a top-down approach.

What is the importance of corporate culture for "servitization" projects? The experiences of an IBM transformation project were used because the company is considered a pioneer of servitization in the IT industry. Especially for service companies, the right employees are key to success. Thus, employee satisfaction is a critical success factor. This is guaranteed by a strong corporate culture. It can be concluded that a VUCA-oriented corporate culture that focuses on employee satisfaction has an impact on corporate success and is of fundamental importance for servitization.
VUCA, IT industry, IT education, Framework, New Work.