Key Strategic Drivers for Business Digital Transformation: Systematic Literature Review

Key Strategic Drivers for Business Digital Transformation: Systematic Literature Review

Ronnie Figueiredo (Universidade Europeia, Portugal & NECE, University of Beira Interior, Portugal), Raquel Soares (Business and Law Research Unit, Universidade Europeia, Portugal & UNIDCOM-IADE, Design and Communication Research Unit, Portugal & CiTUR, Portugal & University of Algarve, Portugal) and João José de Matos Ferreira (NECE, Research Center in Business Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4552-2.ch006
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Abstract

The concept of digital transformation (DT) has reached a heightened demand level on the executives' agenda, especially when it is related to elements that influence the development and activities of contemporary firms being prevalent in discussions about industrial and social changes. This theme leads the authors to reflect on the key strategic drivers used by firms to carry out the qualitative process (prior experience) of digital business transformation. It reinforces the purpose of understanding the key strategic drivers used by firms in recent years to guide the digital business transformation process. The systematic literature review was performed in the “WoS database,” according to Boolean logic, aiming to capture the essential properties of the logical operators and sets of statements about the theme presented to compose the study. The results indicate a higher frequency for the big data and digitization drivers, followed by the innovation driver within the analyzed period.
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Introduction

Recently, the concept of digital transformation (DT, hereafter) has reached a heightened demand level on the executives' agenda, especially when it is related to elements that influence the development and activities of contemporary firms, being prevalent in discussions about industrial and social changes.

Moreover, DT has affected entire sectors of the world economic system, such as the financial sector (regarded as one of the key drivers of the digital economy development) ranking second to telecommunications companies for investments in innovative information and communication technologies (Schepinin & Bataev, 2019).

The banking industry has been introducing technology into its strategy, seeking substantial gains from business digitalization, reducing operating costs, as well as risks and share of cash transactions, and increasing the value of electronic payments, besides the transformation of classic banking business models in Fintechs (Sloboda, Dunas, & Limański, 2018).

The “servitization” development is a driver of DT, especially in after sales service. For front-end processes, DT acts as a technology vehicle that renders it possible to meet the new requirements demanded by the customer. For back-end processes, DT is an opportunity to address internal efficiency and cost pressure resulting from “servitization” according to the requirements (Dombrowski & Fochler, 2018).

We are observing the development of new paradigms, not only for the interaction between consumer and business, but also for the interaction of different firms within the same business, where we attest the emergence of a new quality of institutional transformation characterized by the convergence of the digital and traditional economy (Kapustina, Pereverzeva, Stepanova, & Rusu, 2019).

The digitalization of the economy generates new business opportunities and the development of interstate investments cooperation, triggered by the strengthening of the globalization processes at all levels. Digital technologies have become the main “drivers” of financial market transformation, contributing to the development of information flows and the creation of new challenges in the future (Kozlova, Jacobsen, Golovkina, & Kupriyanova, 2019).

However, industrial DT does not progress at the same speed in all fields of application as numerous efforts to collect and exploit digital data were made long before the turn of the millennium (Gölzer & Fritzsche, 2017). Thus, the future impact of DT cannot be adequately predicted by simple quantitative extrapolations from previous experiences with the use of information technology. In this context, the study answers to the following research question:

  • RQ: What are the key strategic drivers used by firms to carry out the qualitative process (prior experience) of digital business transformation?

The study aims to investigate the key strategic drivers used by firms, recently, to guide the digital business transformation. It identifies and explores the main themes (business, DT and strategic drivers), contributing for the deepening of the literature through the identification of priority areas concerning the digital business transformation. The research was performed through a systematic literature review according to Lim, Davis, Tang, Shannon & Bonfield (2019); Palmatier, Houston & Hulland (2018) and Dolati Neghabadi, Evrard Samuel & Espinouse (2019) in the Web of Science database, applying the Boolean logic, in order to review and identify the main studies related to the proposed research problem and its future agenda.

The remaining of this chapter is organized as follows: section “background” presents the context of “digital transformation”, section “research method” describes the methodology used, next section describes the results and discussions, and the “future research directions” are presented in the last section.

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Background

While digitization is a key factor of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), organizations have different approaches to addressing this topic in order to gain a clearer picture of DT-related opportunities and challenges (Bienhaus & Haddud, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Employee Engagement: Employee engagement is defined as the emotional investment employees make in their organizations.

Strategic Drivers: Strategic drivers are forces that shape an organization's strategy.

Innovation: Innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay.

Big Data: Big data is a combination of structured, semi structured and unstructured data collected by organizations that can be mined for information and used in machine learning projects, predictive modeling and other advanced analytics applications.

Digital Transformation: Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, essentially changing how businesses operate and deliver value to customers.

Strategic Learning: Strategic learning can be seen as encompassing strategies for learning on the individual level, aiming at positively affecting the learner’s autonomy.

Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is a physical object that connects to the Internet. It can be a fitness tracker, a thermostat, a lock or appliance – even a light bulb.

Data Visualization: Data visualization is the graphical representation of information and data.

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