The Digital Transformation Competence Center aims at encouraging research and providing expertise on the digital transformation of SMEs. Our research work in the field of information systems (IS) focuses on both practical and theoretical problems of adopting digital technologies to transform the business and leverage the opportunities stemming from the impact of those technology across society.
We support the use of a broad range of research approaches and methods to study the relevant IS phenomena and develop methodological and technological solutions for SMEs. In terms of theoretical contributions, researching the digital transformation in the IS field may be concerned with (Majchrzak et al., 2016):
- elucidating a specific SME challenge related with the IT use or a problem that IT may solve - theory of the problem;
- explaining how and why IT, paired with digital capabilities, can contribute to solving a particular SME problem or expand its reach (Morakanyane et al., 2017) - theory of the solution.
Given that the focus of research is on emerging technology, an explicit effort to anticipate the unintended or negative outcomes of their adoption is a relevant contribution of the IS field. The speed at which technology with disruptive potential is available in the market makes it necessary to understand in advance (1) the possibilities of alternative uses to that which guided the development of the technology, (2) the systemic challenges of its integration in the SME and (3) the threats to information security that the technology entails.
Finally, the research may aim at contributing to elucidate and suggest (to policy-makers) organizational designs enacted by emerging/disruptive technologies. The concepts such as ecosystems, networks and digital platforms are at the root of adaptive, flexible and resilient organizational designs that can provide SMEs with the resources, knowledge and capabilities they cannot develop internally by themselves.
Also we want to focus on how SME can mobilize new resources and create new values through co-creation with customers, business partners or networks, and employees (Grönroos & Voima, 2013; Lenka, Parida, & Wincent, 2017). In this regard, we will also define the potential role of academia, and the role of research and innovation funding agencies.
We intend to publish our scientific results and inspire other scientists, citizens, research sponsors and public administration to seek expertise in making SMEs successful and promoting well-being in the digital age. We intend to publish in high ranked IS and Management journals and conferences. As a group of researchers interested in discussing and continuously developing research practices and contributions, we will organize workshops, panels, webinars and meetings, which will include the participation of doctoral students and practitioners whenever possible. These events will be organized independently or in conjunction with international events of reference in the IS field.
In order to disseminate the knowledge developed and collaborate with the industry in the testing and implementation of practices based on scientific knowledge, R & D projects will be submitted to national and European funding sources. Project opportunities will be identified in partnership with other researchers on other continents beyond Europe.