Research group Digital Smart Services

How can organizations and businesses design their organizational structure, processes and IT in such a way that they work better with the environment and are more successful? The research group bridges the gap between Business Administration and IT.

The success of organizations and companies depends increasingly on their ability to cooperate with supply chain partners, customers, suppliers and the like. Organizations can achieve savings by looking beyond their own boundaries and operating as extended enterprises.

Extended enterprises form part of a chain or partnership with other organizations. They may be small, medium-sized or large enterprises. They work with others to develop a product or service and bring it to the market. For example, an airport, which includes airlines, travel agents, ticket offices, catering, logistics, finance, IT and other companies. Extended Enterprises are connected through communications networks and have goals that are compatible. The collaboration and communication in supply chains and chains means that the whole, the extended enterprise, is greater than the sum of its parts.

The internet has profoundly changed the exchange of information and the way that companies cooperate. Because of the internet, organizations can be truly open and transparent - extended enterprises, which interact with their environment. The underlying organizational structure, processes and IT are what make this openness and transparency possible. The group carries out research into the application of IT innovations at companies that collaborate, constructs decision models and studies the efficiency of business process management systems.

The group seeks to bridge the gap between Business Administration and IT. These two sectors often work separately and speak using their own respective specialist languages. As a result, there is a great deal of miscommunication between 'business' (earning money) and IT specialists (supporters and innovators). There is a major shortage of people on the labour market with knowledge of both IT and business. The research group helps to train such specialists, through the programme in IT and Business Management for example.

The research group has four research lines:

  • Business engineering: how can you innovate and optimize the internal management of your organization using IT? For example through business administration and planning and control.
    Healthcare and Technology Research Priority Area: Quality management to support IT in healthcare; process and product innovations in operating rooms.
    Sustainability Research Priority Area: sustainable entrepreneurship; agile service development; servitization (the development of services) manufacturing in manufacturing companies.
  • E-enabling: how can you innovate and optimize the external orientation of your organization using IT? For example, in purchasing and sales.
    Healthcare and Technology Research Priority Area: IT for sustainable procurement in healthcare; e-health, distance care and home automation.
    Research Priority Area Sustainability: New Working methods (B2E); IT for sustainable procurement.
    Research Priority Area Creative Sector: Social & virtual networks; web 2.0; mobile apps.
  • Business process management: how can you set up and maintain optimum (supply chain) processes and corporate rules, and what role can IT play in this? Here, optimum means with the greatest potential and long-term impact on the environment.
    Healthcare and Technology Research Priority Area: care programme design; process and product innovations in operating rooms; business rules management.
    Research Priority Area Sustainability: New Working Methods (new process design); business process re-engineering; business process management systems; business rules management.
  • Design science research in information systems: a method of qualitative research in the field of IT and information systems. The research group supports teaching staff, Bachelor’s students and part-time Master's students in this research method in order to carry out qualitative research in the field of IT, partly through case studies.
    Research Priority Area Healthcare and Technology: qualitative research with IT as an innovator in the healthcare sector.
    Research Priority Area Sustainability: qualitative research with IT as an innovator and facilitator for sustainable entrepreneurship.
    Research Priority Area Creative Sector: qualitative research with social media as an innovator.

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