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Troopology: Digital Transformation at the State Level

Florian Kling is the Reserve Captain and Mayor of Calw, where the Special Forces Command is stationed. He has always had a passion for combining politics with IT. After twelve years with the Bundeswehr, he switched the private sector and advised public bodies and government agencies on the digital transformation. Today, Kling is his own CIO at the city hall. One of his first official acts was to double the IT budget. In our interview, he told us about his efforts to advance the digital transformation of the public sector.

Communication is Key

Based on his experiences in the Bundeswehr, as a digitisation consultant and the mayor of Calw, Florian Kling has developed the following approaches to digital transformation:

  • Do not pseudo-digitise to make a good impression
  • Less hardware, no quick wins: only SaaS and online-based systems
  • No special solutions: only standard off-the-shelf products
  • Minimal strategy
  • All involved parties must be on board
  • The strategy must be communicated to all employees
  • Townhall meetings for constant communication
  • A code of conduct to ensure mutual respect among staff
  • To Florian, this is the greatest challenge the digital transformation needs to overcome: ‘That we can't get away from all the paperwork.’

‘Transparency behind the scenes is very important to me. I discuss everything openly with the citizens and committees.’

Florian Kling, Mayor of Calw

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