Heiko Gossen – championing digitalization

Heiko Gossen is co-founder and managing director of Migosens.

It has become clear that digitization in Germany still has a long way to go since the pandemic at the latest. One person who wants to support progress is Heiko Gossen, CEO of Migosens, a consulting firm for data protection, information security and worksmart. Migosens’ customers come from the telecommunications, energy, finance or production sectors.

Originally from the Eifel region, Gossen studied energy technology at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences but did not graduate. Instead, he worked for several years in the film industry as a sound assistant. When asked how he got from that to data protection, Gossen says, “I sometimes jokingly say that my resume is like the typical resume of a data protectionist: There’s a lot in it – only the topic of data protection was never on the screen.” In 2004, as luck would have it, a colleague of Gossen’s dropped out for a data protection seminar and Gossen went instead. From then on, the topic never let him go. In 2005, he founded Migosens, together with Paiman Minavi.

Reducing fear of digitization

On the board of the data protection working group of the digital association Bitkom, Gossen has developed several practice guides on data protection. “The working group and its work are so important because the member companies from the digital economy bundle a very large amount of data protection expertise, which at the same time knows the real world with its business models,” says Gossen.

In his opinion, Germany’s reluctance to embrace digitization can be attributed to many factors: “We quite often hear that data protection is a major stumbling block. But I believe that the number of cases where data protection really stands in the way of progress is negligible,” says Gossen. After all, the same data protection regulations apply in other European countries.

At the same time, he said, it is important that companies are not held back by inadequate infrastructure, such as broadband that is available throughout the country. “We also need to continue working to ensure that digitization is not perceived as a specter but as an opportunity. Both by companies and within society,” says the 47-year-old.

Digital authorities as an important factor

That’s why it’s crucial to overcome reservations, for example with regard to the loss of jobs. The shortage of skilled workers, for example, can only be solved through progress, and digitization is an important component of this. “Work is changing, but it is not disappearing,” Gossen is convinced.

The Migosens CEO finds it difficult to predict what successful digitization in business and society might look like. There are too many individual facets. However, he believes that autonomous driving, the automation of processes in companies and the digitization of German authorities are important factors.

Even if autonomous driving is still a long way off, Heiko Gossen is still involved in driving in his spare time. Driving a camper van, to be precise. However, he is not one of those who only acquired the camper during the pandemic; it was there before. Gossen appreciates the freedom and flexibility. “So we don’t depend on the weather being good at our location, we pick the place according to the weather.” For him, working digitally is already possible regardless of location, even from a camper van if need be. Sarah Tekath

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