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. 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.

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 Business Informatics Project Group 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.

The Fraunhofer Blockchain Laboratory and the Digital Innovation Workshop provide specific examples of this.

Selected insights into our research

“Digitaler Stress in Deutschland”
with assistance of the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung

„IT Management in the Digital Age“
Book by Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach and Prof. Dr. Frederik Ahlemann

„Digitalization Cases“
Book by Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach and Prof. Dr. Frederik Ahlemann


Carl Zeiss
Digital Progress Assessment – Creation of a control matrix for digital projects at company level and definition of a digital trend indicator and external communication

Versicherungskammer Bayern
Development of architecture guidelines for mobile apps and definition of deployment processes

Development of a company-wide digital strategy and definition of a dervied project roadmap for the operational implementation

Deutsche Bahn
Development of a concept for IT support and process improvement in the context of digitalization at DB Fernverkehr

Identification & development of digital services for customers in the butcher’s trade

Design of an agile innovation and development process for mobile applications and their implementation

Deutsche Bank
Development of data-based services including go-to-market strategies

Development of a driver-based forecasting tool for data-driven forecasting of the entire profit and loss account and for enabling dynamic ad-hoc forecasts with comprehensive scenario functionality

Based on the results of research projects, the Research Center FIM publishes regularly in international journals and conferences. Selected publications are:

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Should you be interested in our studies or a cooperation with us in the area of digital transformation, we welcome you to contact us through the following email address: