Survival in the digital age – a framework forformulating a Digital Transformation Strategy in SME

Johannes Trenkle



Many digitally successful companies have established a dedicated digital transfor-mation strategy. A small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) perspective on thistopic remains unclear. I fill this research gap with a qualitative research approach.Main findings include a set of 14 strategic questions along four summarizing cat-egories – use of technologies, changes in value creation, organizational changes,and financial aspects. Three out of these four categories hold true in SME environ-ments as they are valid in large corporation settings. I recommend establishing theterm “organizational changes” instead of “structural changes” in order to increasefit to the mindset of SME owners. Answer options enrich these strategic questions,based on the experience of successful examples from the field. I identify differencesbetween SME and large corporations in the areas of value creation, organizationalchanges and financial aspects. This paper elaborates theory on digital transforma-tion strategy, contributing to understand management behavior and decision levelsin an economic environment, where the adaptation of digital technologies has be-come an imperative.

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