The research cluster on digitalization aims at producing and disseminating new knowledge on digital transformation and its consequences for individuals, organizations, and societies. In so doing, a foundational component for our research is ‘engaged scholarship’ aiming at contributing to both academic research as well as solving problems for users and IT professionals. In our research we aim at producing new theoretical understanding of the digitalization phenomena, for example regarding new digital services in public sector or how different platform owners compete, or the consequences of digitalization of work processes for employees. However, equally important, we aim at giving designers, developers, IT leaders, and Governments concrete and novel advice and solutions to guide their digitalization efforts.
We study the ongoing digital transformation based on our long-standing research on large-scale, complex interconnected information infrastructures. Our research, which we publish within the Information Systems research field, address both strategic and operational aspects of different development strategies, technological architectures and governance regimes, with a current specific focus on platforms.
The research group has an ambition of being one of the leading European research groups on digitalization and transformation, and a keen contributor in current national debates and international research communities.
The concept of digitalization
The concept of digitalization is multifaceted and is used in many different settings and streams of research. Digitalization should not be confused with digitizing, as the former refer to transformation of organizations, markets, and society – and not only the digitizing technologies as such. In this regard, Gartner views digitalization as different from the application of novel technologies as such, underscoring that «Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value- producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.» However, digitizing technologies like blockchain, Internet of Things, machine learning, big data analytics, and digital platforms are important building blocks in understanding the phenomena.
In our research we take a multidisciplinary approach and perceives digitalization not solely technical, but a socio-technical process often involving these novel technologies. We understand digitalization as the socio-technical process of utilizing and combining digital artifacts on different layers including content, networks, services and software modules. Digitalization is potentially transformational, but not necessarily. Our research aims at uncovering the basic dynamics and mechanisms that in different contexts transforms or fail to transform.
Core research challenges
Our research specifically aims at addressing the following research questions and challenges:
- What are the consequences and effects of ‘platformization’ of organizations’ IT capabilities and infrastructures?
- How can traditional organizations and business adopt digital platforms in order to transform their services and products?
- What are the social and organizational consequences of digital transformation in different industries and organizational settings?
- How can digital platforms transform IT organizations, IT deployment strategies, and IT governance?
- Exploring and theorizing digital management
Ongoing research activities
The research cluster on digitalization has numerous ongoing projects:
- DigTrad: Digital platforms and transformation of traditional enterprises and organizations
Some of us also take part in external projects:
- Agile 2.0 project managed by SINTEF Digital