As more and more organizations reach the limits of their internal capabilities to deal with the challenges induced by digital transformation, they are increasingly forced to seek external digitalization opportunities. In particular, small and medium enterprises are affected by this due to their limited human and financial resources. Currently, there is a lack of overview of options considering limited internal digital capabilities and resources. Thus, we choose an action design research approach to develop an external digitalization activity navigator. As a result, we derive five design principles for successful navigation and 30 activities, which are presented as design pattern cards. Our work can help practitioners and scholars alike to structure external digitalization activities. After discussing the insights, we outline directions for future research. We conclude by noting the managerial implications of our findings.
Christoph Gerling, Fabrice Bickel, Thomas Haskamp, Falk Uebernickel
4 Jan 2022