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Digital Transformation of Small Tech Reselling Firms

A Multiple Case Study in Portugal

Written by J. Torehov, J. Capinha

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>General




Master Thesis: Digital transformation and industry impact The rise of digital technology is clearly helping to change the potential of the market, and companies in multiple industries are exploring and using them to gain their benefits (Kane et al., 2015). It affects all levels of the company, including customer experience, customer interface, and internal processes (Kane et al., 2015; Sugathan et al., 2018). In addition, Kane et al. (2015) describe that the capabilities of today's digital technologies extend beyond the scope of products, business processes, sales channels, or supply chains. In addition, companies are also facing the need to digitally transform business models, key business operations, organizational structures, and management concepts to meet these strategic transformations (Matt et al., 2015; Kane et al., 2015). At the same time, the integration of new digital technologies is one of the biggest challenges currently facing enterprises. This is due to various reasons, such as: (1) A rapidly developing society requires the maturity of digital technology and its ability to quickly penetrate the market; (2) Globalization leads to increased competition; (3) Intensified competition leads to increased customer demand ( Kane et al., 2007). , 2015; Li et al, 2018). In the past few decades, the role of digital technology in organizational transformation has been extensively studied (Li et al., 2018; Ash & Burn, 2003; Besson & Rowe, 2012). However, early research focused more on enterprise-wide IT projects, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) and how they affect organizational transformation (Li et al., 2018; Ash & Burn, 2003) . This is often referred to as "supporting IT transformation" (Ash & Burn, 2003; Reis et al., 2018). In recent years, with the new coverage of the Internet and its dynamic impact on the entire company, more and more studies have begun to explore the theme of "digital transformation". More precisely, this topic did not receive special attention until 2014 (Westerman et al., 2014). As digital technology is expected to further revolutionize the daily operations of modern organizations in the next few years, digital transformation is expected to become one of the ubiquitous terms in the field of business research (Fitzgerald et al., 2014). Therefore, some academic scholars strive to define and discuss its exact concept. (Reis et al., 2018) According to Fitzgerald et al. (2014), although people are increasingly aware of the need for digital transformation, most companies are still struggling to reap obvious benefits from new technologies. They further outlined the inconsistencies in how leaders within and across industries describe how to formulate organizational strategies and activities around digital technology. 2.2 Digital transformation and strategic impact Von Leipzig et al. (2017) and Fitzgeraldet et al. (2014) outlines that although the desire for digital transformation exists and despite the promises of many companies, there is still no right way. The typical obstacles mentioned by the company itself include lack of adequate IT structure, limited technical skills, imperfect business processes, high costs and implementation risks. When a company ventures into an unexplored branch of change and does not yet have a solid strategy to establish change, another problem usually arises. (Von Leipzig et al., 2017) Finally, a huge challenge facing companies is the need to establish management practices to manage these complex transformations (Matt et al., 2015). Therefore, so far, many scholars have studied the organization's digital transformation strategy, and have provided support guidelines for how companies can formulate strategies to successfully promote digital transformation in different contexts (Matt et al., 2015; von Leipzig et al; 2017; Schumacher et al. al. ., 2016; Shahiduzzaman & Marek, 2018; Westerman et al., 2014; Kane et al., 2015). Although there is no ideal digital transformation formula, scholars are still on the verge of constructing and implementing various digital transformation strategies to coordinate and prioritize many independent digital transformation threads. Independent of the industry or company, digital transformation strategies usually share some elements. (Matt et al., 2015) These elements are listed in the table below along with the description. For managers, it is also important to understand the difficulties of such measures. In order to make strategic decisions based on ability, knowledge and resources to prioritize the strategy, the correct strategy can lay the foundation for successful organizational change (Valdez-de -Leon , 2016; Berghaus & Back, 2016). At the same time, digital transformation strategies need to pay close attention to the process of change and the ability to quickly respond to changes. This stems from the digital mechanism, that is, the agile development of digital technology combined with increased competition and increased customer demand. Therefore, it is important to establish a common understanding of the digital environment and make the company "digital agile". This refers to the ability to quickly manage changes within the company (Besson & Rowe, 2012). 2.2.1 Digital maturity Introduction Digital maturity can be described as the company's digital maturity in various fields that are important for digital transformation (von Leipzig et al., 2017). The concept of "digital maturity" first attracted special attention in the work of Westerman et al. (2014). Read Less