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:

Assessing IT Availability Risks in Smart Factory Networks
in: Business Research, 2019
Häckel, Björn
Hänsch, Florian
Hertel, Michael
Übelhör, Jochen
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
Digitalization : Opportunity and Challenge for the Business and Information Systems Engineering Community
in: Business & Information Systems Engineering, 2017
Legner, Christine
Eymann, Torsten
Hess, Thomas
Matt, Christian
Böhmann, Tilo
Drews, Paul
Mädche, Alexander
Urbach, Nils
Ahlemann, Frederik
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
Der Einfluss des Agilitätsgrads auf den Erfolg von Softwareentwicklungsprojekten unter Berücksichtigung der Unternehmenskultur
presented at: 13th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI), St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2017
Haase, Martin
Jöhnk, Jan
Lipowsky, Stefan
Urbach, Nils
Die IT-Organisation im Wandel : Implikationen der Digitalisierung für das IT-Management
in: HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 2017
Urbach, Nils
Ahlemann, Frederik
Performance Measurement im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung : Eine Balanced Scorecard für die Industrie 4.0
in: Flexibilisierung der Fabrik im Kontext von Industrie 4.0Berlin, 2017
von Entreß-Fürsteneck, Matthias
Karl, Johannes
Urbach, Nils
Die Digitalisierung der Wissensarbeit : Handlungsempfehlungen aus der Wirtschaftsinformatik-Forschung
in: HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 2016
Köffer, Sebastian
Urbach, Nils
IT-Konsumerisierung : Strategien und Maßnahmen in mittelständischen Unternehmen
in: HMD Praxis der WirtschaftsinformatikBayreuth, 2016
von Entreß-Fürsteneck, Matthias
Urbach, Nils
Buck, Christoph
Eymann, Torsten


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: