Steinbeis expert Professor Dr. Helmut Beckmann supports SMEs with the process of digital transformation
Digital transformation in companies is a central driver of advancement and even drives the upheaval strategies, processes, business methods, and technological progress. However, more than half of SMEs have no digital transformation strategy to speak of, especially when it comes to systematically addressing issues within the company and translating them into action. As a result, individual topics are more or less considered in isolation, at different levels of the organization and in different areas, with thinking not feeding sustainably into the strategic goals of companies, meaning that it fails to deliver holistic benefit. Drawing on the methods of enterprise architecture management, the Steinbeis Consulting Center Electronic Business (EB) uses technology-driven innovation management for the digital transformation process based on Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) to systematically and sustainably support medium-sized companies in this challenge.
The application of technology is now a key driver in the development of innovations that represent an important part of a company and ensure its competitiveness.
A very successful approach to ensure the systematic and sustainable impact of technology-related innovations is the implementation of technology excellence within the framework of enterprise architecture management. Once considered an extremely academic approach to management, EAM now offers a practical way to shape digital transformation at small and medium-sized companies. In the meantime, a number of practical models are available for implementing EAM, hand in hand with practical software solutions for SMEs at SME prices as well as consulting services that offer companies “help to help themselves.”
Technology management based on EAM
EAM adopts a holistic and strategically goal-oriented approach to technology management at medium-sized companies based on the Open Group model and its technology level.
The process involves systematically identifying technologies and assessing their potential to foster innovation within companies. The aim is not a random but the continuous identification of technologies to promote innovation and forward-looking technology management in order to approach relevant technologies and their utilization for the company at an early stage. Using the Technology Layer of the Open Group model, an analysis is conducted of the influence of technology on other layers of enterprise architecture – and thus on the entire company, particularly when it comes to benefits to the business strategy.
Introducing technology management can be kept relatively straightforward using existing resources within the company. “A good basis for this is the technology radar, which allows you to systematically integrate and evaluate information on emerging technology trends,” recommends Steinbeis Entrepreneur Professor Dr. Helmut Beckmann. There is no need for companies to introduce expensive dedicated software systems; existing on-board resources such as a ticket system can also provide valuable services and ensure a low-threshold entry into technology management
The technology radar as a cockpit
The technology radar collects technology trends based on these sources of information. With the support of experts, technologies that have been collected should be regularly reviewed, evaluated, and discussed with respect to the impact. This makes it possible to compare individual technologies and, in particular, potential business opportunities, as well as limits and problems, which can be analyzed with decision-makers at the company.
The technology radar looks at announcements and imminent releases of products and services. The predictions it offers are more accurate because they provide experts with more data and sources of information to work with. This allows comparisons to be made with existing technological innovations. The technology radar analyzes market potential and the impact of technologies on markets from the moment they are announced to the point of actual release. To do this, additional financial indicators are collected relating to the business model and the potential market. This gives decision-makers a more extensive background knowledge about the possibilities and risks of a technology, providing a basis for planning further strategies and investments.
The advantage of mapping the process of technological development on a radar is that emerging technologies, products, and services can be identified and made usable immediately. In this way, the effects of potential innovations on the company itself can be determined at an early stage. Due to the continuous screening, the radars offer a holistic view of the market.
An essential aspect of sustainable technology management in establishing a basis for innovation is the ability to dovetail the process with corporate goals. This is achieved by means of the enterprise architecture and integration of different levels within the business to avoid silo practices and to enable synergies.
The Steinbeis Consulting Center Electronic Business (EB) supports medium-sized companies with the practical implementation and introduction of technology radars, thus offering a technology-centric entry into enterprise architecture management with the aim of systematically implementing digital transformation in medium-sized companies.
Prof. Dr. Helmut Beckmann (author)
Steinbeis Consulting Center Electronic Business (EB) (Kirchheim)