Information and Communication Management

Digital Platforms and Business Models

Research Area: Digital Platforms and Ecosystems

A platform combines shared core technologies and standards within an industry in order to support the common added value (value co-creation) through specialization and complementary offers. In the digital economy, technologies that are positioned as platforms have a strong influence on the nature of innovation and competition and thus on the principles according to which companies and markets are organized. Well-known examples of leading platforms are the desktop operating system Microsoft Windows, the mobile operating system Google Android or the e-commerce marketplace Amazon.

From the perspective of technology management and corporate management, the research area deals with the questions of how platforms and ecosystems are created and structured, which business models they pursue, which dynamics they are subject to and what influence they have on innovation, value creation, and corporate and industrial organization. In the course of the application and further development of existing scientific theories, research in this area aims at concrete implications for the design of platforms and e-business business models as well as for the development and management of corresponding ecosystems.

Research Area: E-Business Models and Digital Innovation

E(lectronic)-Business describes the integrated execution of all automatable business processes of a company with the help of information and communication technology. By integrating business processes, lower transaction costs can be achieved, while their automation results in radically reduced throughput times and transmission costs. At the same time, the potential for success generated by e-business can only be accessed by restructuring organizational processes such as process, task and data integration. In this respect, the management of e-business solutions at both company and market level is of central importance. In addition, e-business solutions and business models can be developed with relatively little capital investment thanks to the low entry barriers in both the business-to-consumer and the business-to-business segment. This makes e-business business models particularly interesting for young entrepreneurs and leads to a high level of innovation and competition in the digital economy and digitized industries.

The research area deals with the potentials and challenges of e-business models and digital innovations. The focus here is on potential and feasibility studies as well as prototypical application development as part of an application-oriented research approach.