Penetration of the economy and society with digital technologies

What is digitalization?

Digitalization describes the increasing penetration of digital technologies (e.g. social media, mobile computing, big data analytics, cloud computing, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and blockchain) in business and society and its corresponding changes between organizations and individuals. The resulting pressure for innovation and technology means that digital change is capturing a large part of society, the private sector, administration and especially the business world at an unprecedented speed and disruptive force.

What are the benefits of digitalization for companies?

Digitalization is forcing companies to radically adapt their strategies, business models, processes, structure and culture in order to ensure sustainable value creation in the long term. Therefore, digitalization offers considerable opportunities for companies, but it also creates risks (e.g. through changes in established business models or investments in immature IT innovations). In particular, there is a massive pressure for companies to act, as new technologies and software-based innovations enter the market in shorter intervals and do not always establish themselves there. Companies that are too passive or too hesitant are in danger of losing out in the increasingly dynamic global competition. At the same time, economically unsound decisions on how to deal with new technologies entail the risk of considerable bad investments. For established companies, the main question is how to combine existing resources with new technologies to create viable business models.

Qualitative solutions for individual questions

The challenges for companies are therefore to make their business models future-proof (digital business), to make the best possible use of the potential of new technologies to enable innovative business models (digital disruption) and to continually adapt corporate structures to changed innovative business models (digital transformation).

We at the FIM Research Center and the Fraunhofer FIT Project Group Business & Information Systems Engineering offer companies scientifically, innovative insights and R&D services they need in order to create differentiating features in increasingly competitive ecosystems, considering the specific characteristics of each company and its competitive environment. Our services align to the individual customer needs of the companies in order to enable long-term sustainable improvements for companies. Due to the integration into the Fraunhofer Organization, the project group is able to take a holistic and integrated view on technology potentials, which guarantees a high usability of the developed solutions and results in the areas of Digital Business, Digital Transformation and Digital Disruption.


Our activities

The Research Center FIM deals with relevant real-world problems both in publicly funded research projects and in applied research projects with partners in industry. Together with our partners, we develop unique and novel solutions based on our insights into the current state of research, our practical experience and the interdisciplinary and enthusiastic nature of our team. Selected projects are:

  • Carl Zeiss:
    Digital Progress Assessment – Creation of a control matrix for digital projects at company level and definition of a digital trend indicator for internal and external communication
  • Versicherungskammer Bayern:
    Development of architecture lines for mobile apps and definition of deployment processes
  • Medi:
    Development of a company-wide digital strategy and definition of a project roadmap for the operative implementation
  • Deutsche Bahn:
    Development of a concept for IT support and process improvement in the context of digitalisation at DB Fernverkehr
  • Raps:
    Identification & development of digital services for customers in the butchery trade
  • Deutsche Bank:
    Development of data-based services including Go-To-Market strategies
  • Infineon:
    Development of a driver-based forecasting tool for data-driven forecasting of the entire profit and loss statement and for enabling dynamic ad-hoc forecasts with comprehensive scenario functionality

The following studies, whitepapers and books were developed on the basis of research work and in cooperation with partners in industry:

“Successful integration of smart devices in production processes”
“Digital Transformation Changes and Chances”
„What’s Beyond Digital: Defining the Corporate Agenda 2025“ – in cooperation with Fujitsu
„Blockchain: Basics, Applications and Potentials“
„eHealth: Innovation potentials in health care or the way to the ‘transparent’ human being?“
„Data privacy: Necessary bureaucracy or competitive advantage in dealing with digital customer data“
„Digital Stress in Germany“ – with support of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation
„IT management in the age of digitalization“ – Book by Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach and Prof. Dr. Frederik Ahlemann
„Digitalization Cases“ – Book by Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach and Prof. Dr. Frederik Ahlemann
„Digital Finance: Results of an empirical study on digitization in the financial sector“ – in cooperation with KPMG
„Study: Designing IT Setups in the Digital Age“ – in cooperation with A.T. Kearney
„Smart Data Transformation“ – in cooperation with Infosys Consulting

Nicht-invasive Messvorrichtung zur Messung einer Flüssigkeitseinlagerung in der Harnblase eines Benutzers
Lockl, Jannik
Zürl, Tristan
Case Studies in Business Model Innovation : A Systematic Literature Network Analysis
in: International Journal of Business Environment, 2021
Buck, Christoph
Eder, David Michael
Brügmann, Jonas
The Advance of the Machines : Vision und Implikationen einer Machine Economy

Urbach, Nils
Albrecht, Tobias
Guggenberger, Tobias
Jöhnk, Jan
Arnold, Laurin
Gebert, Julia
Jelito, Dennis
Lämmermann, Luis
Schweizer, André
Approaching Digital Transformation : Development of a Multi-Dimensional Maturity Model
in: Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), s.l., 2020
Berger, Stephan
Bitzer, Michael
Häckel, Björn
Voit, Christian
Investigating the Co-Creation of IT Consulting Service Value : Empirical Findings of a Matched Pair Analysis
in: Electronic Markets, 2020
Oesterle, Severin
Buchwald, Arne
Urbach, Nils
Marketing im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung : Chancen und Herausforderungen durch digitale Innovationen
Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2020
Urbach, Nils
Prioritizing Smart Factory Investments : A Project Portfolio Selection Approach
in: International Journal of Production Research, 2020
Dreyer, Stephan
Egger, Andreas
Püschel, Louis
Röglinger, Maximilian
Assessing IT Availability Risks in Smart Factory Networks
in: Business Research, 2019
Häckel, Björn
Hänsch, Florian
Hertel, Michael
Übelhör, Jochen
Capturing Smart Service Systems : Development of a Domain-specific Modeling Language
in: Information Systems Journal, 2019
Huber, Rocco
Püschel, Louis
Röglinger, Maximilian
The Impact of Digitalization on the IT Department
in: Business & Information Systems Engineering, 2019
Urbach, Nils
Ahlemann, Frederik
Böhmann, Tilo
Drews, Paul
Brenner, Walter
Schaudel, Florian
Schütte, Reinhard
Structuring Digital Transformation : A Framework of Action Fields and its Application at ZEISS
in: Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 2018
Gimpel, Henner
Hosseini, Sabiölla
Huber, Rocco
Probst, Laura
Röglinger, Maximilian
Faisst, Ulrich
Conceptualizing Business-to-Thing Interactions : A Sociomaterial Perspective on the Internet of Things
in: European Journal of Information Systems, 2018
Oberländer, Anna Maria
Röglinger, Maximilian
Rosemann, Michael
Kees, Alexandra
How to Exploit the Digitalization Potential of Business Processes
in: Business & Information Systems Engineering, 2018
Denner, Marie-Sophie
Püschel, Louis
Röglinger, Maximilian
How to Implement Agile IT Setups : A Taxonomy of Design Options
presented at: 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, 2017
Jöhnk, Jan
Röglinger, Maximilian
Thimmel, Markus
Urbach, Nils
Zehn Handlungsfelder für die digitale Transformation der IT
in: Computerwoche, 2017
Ahlemann, Frederik
Urbach, Nils
Digital Business Transformation and the Changing Role of the IT Function
in: MIS Quarterly Executive, 2017
Urbach, Nils
Drews, Paul
Ross, Jeanne
Performance Measurement im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung : Eine Balanced Scorecard für die Industrie 4.0
in: Winkler, Herwig: Flexibilisierung der Fabrik im Kontext von Industrie 4.0, Logos Verlag, Berlin, 2017
von Entreß-Fürsteneck, Matthias
Karl, Johannes
Urbach, Nils

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Henner Gimpel

Chair for Digital Management

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Röglinger

Chair of Information Systems and Business Process Management