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Removing hurdles – innovative, pragmatic, hands-on

Digital State trend
report 2021:
Removing hurdles


Behörden Spiegel



Is the digital transformation of Germany’s public sector already a lost cause? In contrast to the negative opinions of some, in the new issue of the trend report our team of authors presents ideas and initiatives concerning digital administration that show the way forward.

The team’s research was based on our 2019 trend report: two years ago, we identified and analysed seven hurdles responsible for the slow pace of progress in Germany’s digitalisation process. In the 2021 trend report, the team, led by project manager Marcel Hölterhoff, presents examples that show that there is another way.

Trend report microsite

The trend report microsite presents actors who have succeeded in removing or skipping the hurdles through their use of innovative solutions. This includes the projects for which Covid provided a necessary urgency and push in the right direction and enabled alternative ways. We present these examples along the recommendations that we formulated two years ago. The examples show:

  • how users are placed at the centre of digital solutions
  • how innovations take data protection seriously, but do not overdo it
  • how federalist common objectives make coordinated implementation possible
  • how actors see digitalisation as a worthwhile investment
  • how administrations open up to digital skills
  • how digital enforcement is already considered in the legislative process
  • how to make room for innovations in administration

“We have not yet reached our goal, but what the 2021 trend report does show is just how many obstacles are being overcome that only a few years ago, seemed insurmountable,” stresses Marcel Hölterhoff, Prognos digital administration expert.

Digital State 2021 “Digital Administration Audit” – an inventory

The motto of the Digital State 2021 was “Digital Administration Audit” – an inventory. Our colleagues were represented once again this year with a trade stand, this time a digital version. The virtual trade exhibition and various side events offered the opportunity to obtain comprehensive information about digital administration services and to establish and maintain networks.

The patron of the congress was once again the Minister of State for Digitalisation in the Federal Chancellery, Dorothee Bär. The second patron was Jan Pörksen, chairperson of the IT Planning Council and Head of the Senate Chancellery and the personnel office of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Links and downloads

Trend report microsite, in German (

Digital State Trade Fair, in German (

Previous editions of the trend report (in German)

Project team: Marcel Hölterhoff, Matthias Canzler, Franziska Stader, Lorenz Löffler, Paul Braunsdorf

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Matthias Canzler

Senior Project Manager

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Franziska Stader

Project Manager

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