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Nabil Badr

DBA Graduate - 2014

Thesis title

Business model innovation based on IT: potential challenges in integrating emerging technologies in IT services companies

Supervisor(s)

Sylvie Blanco

Nabil Georges Badr has over 30 years’ experience in IT/ICT management. His focus is on systemic enterprise architecture, integration, PMO leadership, business process re-engineering, and IT governance. Dr. Badr is currently applying his ICT acumen as a transformation advisor to develop a mid and long-term ICT strategy for the modernization of the Lebanese Red Cross. As an engaged scholar, his research contributes to topics and publications in health informatics.

The task of the CIO1 or information technology (IT) manager is to steer the technology base of the company in the right direction with the right solution choices. To innovate their business models companies often rely on emerging technologies in IT (EIT). Disruption introduced by EIT affects the stability of the IT services2, and the ability of IT organizations to sustain the continuity of services required by the business. Therefore, IT organizations are reluctant to act quickly to integrate EIT. Purpose - The purpose of this research is to gain familiarity of this phenomenon, acquire an in depth insight into mechanisms involved. Placing the focus on reliability, data confidentiality and mainly continuous service availability (i.e. IT service continuity), practitioners tend to emphasize maturity in operational processes and functions over “risky” integration of innovation. Though researchers have discussed the diffusion patterns and presence of large assimilation gaps, practitioners would have found it very useful if explicit links were made on how to adjust these rapid implementations and prepare their organizations in order to reduce the potential risk to the ability to deliver IT services. A gap in the literature motivated this study on how IT organizations successfully integrate innovations based on EIT. Design/methodology/approach -Through in-depth case studies in IT services companies, field interviews and focus group discussions with practitioners who underwent business 1 The terms Information Technology manager, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CIO (Chief Information Officer) are used together and sometimes interchangeably to stand for any title the enterprise might use to designate the executive in charge of the Technology and its Strategy definition, implementation and outcome. 2 The term IT services refers to IT/IS services. Integration of IT based Business Model Innovation in IT Services Companies Page | ii model innovations based on IT, the research attempts to learn what mechanisms are required motivate IT organizations to innovate. Findings - The study draws together knowledge from the two cases to explore mechanisms that would reduce reluctance of the IT organization to integrate emerging technologies. These mechanisms are found to be rooted in the IT organization capabilities. Grounded in extant literature and supported by empirical data, a framework for business model innovation based on IT is proposed with strategy mechanisms, governance and organizational capabilities as constituents. Practical implications - This study has brought forth concepts of implementation that may serve as guidance to develop organizational capabilities for IT based business model innovation projects. Capabilities enabled an alignment with business and innovation strategies, collaboration with the intended customers, with proper governance practices to reduce the ensuing risk. Originality/value -