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Current books reviewed: “Successfully Shaping the Digital Transformation of Business Models” by Prof. Dr. Daniel Schallmo, Joachim Reinhart and Evelyn Kuntz

Current books reviewed: “Successfully Shaping the Digital Transformation of Business Models” by Prof. Dr. Daniel Schallmo, Joachim Reinhart and Evelyn Kuntz

There is no getting around digitalization. And although executives are already taking big steps in this direction at most companies, a host of potential is still untapped. There are thus plenty of good reasons to encourage the transformation of “classic” business models with a view toward comprehensive and above all coordinated digitalization.

“Buzzwords such as digitalization, Industry 4.0, collaboration tools, cloud computing, big data and many others are commonly found in the media these days, and they are preoccupying companies of all different sizes and industries. In the present publication, we indicate specific ways in which companies can use the opportunities offered by new technologies.” This is the authors’ defined aim in this new volume from the series “Focus: Business Model Innovation”. Thanks to their academic backgrounds, Schallmo, Reinhart and Kuntz address matters in a stringent and scientific manner — their ideas are clearly structured, well-argued and vividly explained. Over the course of the small volume, this quickly becomes its biggest advantage. The reason is that the terms and buzzwords from the digital world are, though ubiquitous, often somewhat vague, so they are clearly defined at the outset before the authors then proceed to examine their effects and ultimately their usability for a company’s day-to-day business.

These points are illustrated in the three chapters that span the book: “Technological trends”, “Effects on companies”, and “A roadmap for the digitalization of business models.” In the first chapter, the authors’ academic approach immediately proves to be particularly helpful; with the aid of academic models, they concisely explain with clear examples the current state of affairs in relation to digitalization and once again provide a distinct definition of this term, which is often not conveyed very clearly.

Chapter 2 then deals with the specific effects of current technological trends on the organization and business practice of modern companies. Here again, the analytical method of the authors proves to be the ideal approach. Based on a clearly structured definition of the term “business model,” they point out the consequences of digitalization for everyday business at all levels. The clearly noticeable shifts being caused by digitalization from horizontally to vertically structured relationships between different fields of business are explained along with their extensive consequences. The text is livened up at regular intervals with practical examples and personal experiences of the authors from a customer point of view; a whole range of diagrams and other graphical elements provide clarity.

Finally, in the third chapter, the book outlines a “roadmap” for the step-by-step and, above all, coordinated transformation of classic, analog business models to arrive at the “digital company.” Meanwhile, the authors avoid the pitfall of blindly doing things just for the sake of doing something and create a mathematically sound strategy of complementary forces. With diagrams and scoring tables, they provide helpful and practical tools for use in actual scenarios at a company. Based on examples involving aircraft-engine manufacturer General Electric, theoretical considerations are explained, and general tips are provided. This makes it easier to clarify the often complex relationships among digital reality, ambition, potential and implementation and to use them for innovation in your own company.

The book concludes with a summary of the ten most important success factors for digital transformation, and ample attention is given to the human aspect as well. Ultimately, after all, the success of theoretical models and practical processes is determined by the ambition and dedication of the people involved. The book offers all managers hoping to get their companies in shape for the digital revolution a host of specific, sound and well-argued suggestions for charting their own personal course toward a successful future.

The book:

Prof. Dr. Daniel Schallmo, Joachim Reinhart and Evelyn Kuntz, “Digitale Transformationen von Geschäftsmodellen erfolgreich gestalten,” Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2018, 83 pages, 29.99€

The authors:

Prof. Dr. Daniel Schallmo is an economist, business consultant, author and keynote speaker. He is a professor at Ulm University, a member of the Institute for Digital Transformation and founder of Dr. Schallmo & Team GmbH.

Joachim Reinhart is an economist and an experienced strategist. Since 1992, he has been deeply involved with digitalization in different positions at Deutsche Telekom AG and as a management consultant.

Evelyn Kuntz holds a bachelor’s degree in business data-processing and has professional experience at companies operating internationally. She is studying for a master’s degree in sustainable management at Ulm University, with a focus on management and controlling, as well as technology and resource management.


Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.
Image: © 3dkombinat – AdobeStock

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