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Sabine Berghaus
Bled eConference, 20.06.2016
The Fuzzy Front-End of Digital Transformation
Three Perspectives on the Formu...
2
Definition
Digital transformation…
…is a radical change induced by digital technology
that impacts on multiple organizat...
3
Problem Statement
Digital transformation requires a change strategy
• Companies struggle with recognizing and
understand...
4
Guiding Concept
The Fuzzy Front-End
• The initial phase before the actual start of the project is
ill-defined, random an...
Analyze the
«visioning /
initiation» Phase
Search for papers
on org. change &
strategy
formulation
5
Research Goals
1. To ...
6
To what extent has the FFE been covered?
Research had less interest in the upfront stage and are focusing more on
strate...
7
What characteristics have been identified?
Research focuses on intended rather than emergent strategy and on
evolutionar...
Learnings for
the Fuzzy
Front End
8
Findings I
Information Systems Perspective
• IT-enabled organizational change: Change
...
Learnings for
the Fuzzy
Front End
9
Findings II
Management & Strategy Perspective
• Carefully monitor customer needs and
t...
Learnings for
the Fuzzy
Front End
10
Findings III
Organization Science Perspective
• Involve the entire workforce.
• Strat...
11
Discussion & Contribution
• Digital transformation is an interdisciplinary
research topic.
• The initial phase of strat...
12
Thank you!
Feedback?
Sabine Berghaus
Research Associate
sabine.berghaus@unisg.ch
Chair Prof. Dr. Andrea Back www.aback....
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The Fuzzy Front-End of Digital Transformation: Three Perspectives on the Formulation of Organizational Change Strategies

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Paper presentation at the 29th Bled eConference

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The Fuzzy Front-End of Digital Transformation: Three Perspectives on the Formulation of Organizational Change Strategies

  1. 1. Sabine Berghaus Bled eConference, 20.06.2016 The Fuzzy Front-End of Digital Transformation Three Perspectives on the Formulation of Organizational Change Strategies
  2. 2. 2 Definition Digital transformation… …is a radical change induced by digital technology that impacts on multiple organizational units and requires a re-definition of corporate strategy, products, or processes in order to remain competitive.
  3. 3. 3 Problem Statement Digital transformation requires a change strategy • Companies struggle with recognizing and understanding the impact and chances of digitalization. (Matt et al. 2015; Carlo, Lyytinen & Rose 2012) • Often it is not clear, who is responsible and what activities need to be prioritized. (Matt et al., 2016) • Initiating a transformation strategy is a key step. ?
  4. 4. 4 Guiding Concept The Fuzzy Front-End • The initial phase before the actual start of the project is ill-defined, random and mysterious (Smith & Reinertsen, 1991; Rhea, 2003). • Improving the initial phase may have an impact on the entire project. (Reid & De Brentani, 2004) • Corresponds to the “phase of unfreezing“ (Lewin, 1963)
  5. 5. Analyze the «visioning / initiation» Phase Search for papers on org. change & strategy formulation 5 Research Goals 1. To what extent has the «fuzzy front-end» phase been researched in the IS, OS, MS disciplines? 2. What are important characteristics and challenges within the FFE identified in these fields? 3 Journal Baskets (A / A+ Journals)
  6. 6. 6 To what extent has the FFE been covered? Research had less interest in the upfront stage and are focusing more on strategic planning and strategy implementation.
  7. 7. 7 What characteristics have been identified? Research focuses on intended rather than emergent strategy and on evolutionary rather than radical change.
  8. 8. Learnings for the Fuzzy Front End 8 Findings I Information Systems Perspective • IT-enabled organizational change: Change process induced by (disruptive) technology. • Digital strategy: Evolution of IS-strategy from a functional to a more strategic role. • Technology Adoption: IT impact on user behavior. • Stronger understanding of IT / digital technologies is required in the strategy initiation process. • Not just alignment of strategies but true collaboration.
  9. 9. Learnings for the Fuzzy Front End 9 Findings II Management & Strategy Perspective • Carefully monitor customer needs and technological development. • Change strategy formulation needs to be guided by (but not restricted to) the top management. • Role of the top management: Strategic change is guided by top executives. • Role of the environment: Radical change as a reaction to turbulent environment. • Organizational inertia: Understanding the urgency but failing to build capabilties to react swiftly.
  10. 10. Learnings for the Fuzzy Front End 10 Findings III Organization Science Perspective • Involve the entire workforce. • Strategy formulation as a collaborative process. • Role of Workforce: Dedicated teams for strategy development and implementation. • Evolutionary change: Employees shape organizational routines and behaviors.
  11. 11. 11 Discussion & Contribution • Digital transformation is an interdisciplinary research topic. • The initial phase of strategy formulation seems to be a fruitful field for research. • The concept of the „Fuzzy Front-End“ provides an interesting perspective on the initial phases of the change process
  12. 12. 12 Thank you! Feedback? Sabine Berghaus Research Associate sabine.berghaus@unisg.ch Chair Prof. Dr. Andrea Back www.aback.iwi.unisg.ch LinkedIn: https://ch.linkedin.com/in/sabineberghaus @stadtnomadin

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