News articles

Leica camera’s arduous transition to digital imaging

How to break old habits and focus on the future...

old way new way transition

Once upon a time, Leica was a market leader in analog photography. "I am a film dinosaur," was the slogan of Leica employees at trade fairs, as they showcased analog cameras in 2004. While the analog camera was groundbreaking at the beginning of the 20th century, by 2004, it teetered on the brink of extinction amidst the digital revolution.

Since the late 19th century, Leica had become one of the world's largest and most prestigious opticians and camera providers. When digital cameras emerged in the early 90s, Leica's management dismissed the new trend as "not serious." However, digital photography rapidly matured, and Leica, rooted in the analog world, found itself surrounded by digital competitors.

The Challenges of Digital Transformation

Despite the booming market development of digital photography, Leica's strategic focus remained analog. The company's digital, innovative branch was neglected. Traditionalists held the reins tightly - "digital does not fit with Leica," was the prevailing attitude until 2004 when the last CEO still defended the idea of an analog niche. By that time, the final innovative minds had abandoned the sinking ship. Amidst a digital world, employees and management stood firmly behind their analog camera, come what may.

It wasn't until investor Andreas Kaufmann took over the struggling Leica that a successful transition to the digital age was achieved.

Successful Change Through Education

Once a company has reached great heights, it's tempting to view the world through rose-colored glasses. Old, traditional, once-successful paths are often reluctantly abandoned, and companies revel in the safety and pride of being market leaders for decades. How can transitions succeed when good brands suddenly become outdated? How can well-trodden paths be left behind to conquer new territories?

In the Executive MBA Digital Transformation & Change Management program at the TU Wien Academy for Continuing Education, participants explore the vast digital landscape, discovering its advantages, potential weaknesses, and the opportunities and possibilities that affect both internal and external corporate areas. Ultimately, it's about how companies can successfully move forward and achieve long-term, satisfying, and profitable (digital) transitions.

The Future of Digital Transformation

Take the step into the future and acquire the right tools for digital change with our Executive MBA. As the world of technology and innovation continues to advance, it's essential to continuously educate oneself to stay current. Seize the opportunity to expand your leadership skills in digitalization and change management, preparing yourself and your company for the challenges of digital change.

>> Learn more about the  Executive MBA Digital Transformation & Change Mangement