Digital goods such as software are specific in economies of scale and network effects and thus require specific strategies and concepts for design, development and marketing. Due to the progress of digitalization in almost any market, the observed phenomena and measures gain relevance and importance in business and academia. Hence the emerging convergences in industries, suppliers, businesses and products cause a game change in markets for digital or digitized goods.
The door to the digital world is opening for more tangible goods employing the Internet of Things (IoT), actuating convergence of digital and analogue markets and value creation systems, enabling the atomization of products / services (e.g. bundled microservices instead of apps) and increasing the number of products and services and their providers. Platforms enable cooperation (i.e. development and sales) of the value creation partners. Since these partners may be cooperation partners and competitors coincidentally, there is coopetition.
Digitization is leading to a sustainable change in the software business towards a platform economy offering a huge potential for innovative business models, creating and satisfying customer needs for business success. During a Dagstuhl seminar in May 2018 a group of international selected researchers established a new scientific discipline, called „Software-Intensive Business (SIB)“ to which we feel committed.
However, successful digitized business models require on one side mastery of technology on the other side commercial expertise and HR skills for a mindset change of employees and customers.
Current research is mainly driven by technology and fosters digital innovations which will lead to business success only if technology and innovations meet customer needs, whereas needs and benefits may not be revealed yet. Its disclosure may manifest the innovation and provide the key to business success. Hence successful solutions require at first thorough understanding of customer needs and then design and development of matching processes and products.
We pursue a research strategy that is in accordance with the design science research paradigm. I.e. we are basically anxious in all our research efforts to derive recommendations beyond the detection of cause-effect-relationships. Our research strategy is based on two pillars:
- Integrating rigor and relevance: The starting point for all our design goals is to generate understanding about facts at underlying extract of reality. Based on this, we derive recommendations to solve a practical problem that is so far not adequate solved. Thus the theory-development does not a priori occur independent from the derivation of recommendations and vice versa.
- Differentiated: We pursue the contingency approach, i.e. we are convinced that the respective situational factors influence the effects caused by recommendations. These effects can in turn only be judged relative to certain design goals. According to our understanding, there cannot be any universally valid recommendations.