Di­gital Trans­form­a­tion (DITRA)

De­scrip­tion

This field of research is focusing on the process of change caused by ongoing digitalisation, which is affecting all areas of society. The project aims to observe, describe, analyse and forecast its varied and far-reaching effects on the economy, administration, law and education in order to be able to support the transformation process with conceptual proposals.

Digitalisation is viewed as the extensive digital representation of information when storing, processing, making available and connecting it. The process of change achieved by this offers a wide variety of opportunities (e.g. increases in efficiency, promoting pluralism and democracy through making information available ubiquitously, optimising the quality of life and supplies, achieving goals for sustainable development), but also includes risks (e.g. placing excessive demands on customers/employees or the loss of self-determination, the digital divide). Digital transformation not only describes the technical change in an isolated field, but the interrelationship between various IT opportunities, which create complex cause and effect chains. It is only possible to make a differentiated assessment of the social acceptance and acceptability of this use of information technology and the technologies underlying it in this light. The field of research primarily concentrates on the effect of new information technologies on citizens, consumers and employees (coordination forms, e-government, information privacy), on companies (strategy, digital business models, corporate information systems) and on the initial/further training of employees and managers (education).

To illustrate this, four main topics are being observed in this field of research in an analytical manner and designed to change behaviour with particular economic, legal and education policy relevance:

  • Changing types of communication and coordination from one person to another, from person to machine and finally from one machine to another, e.g. through removing the boundaries in coordinating markets and labour or through new IT availability models.
  • Competition strategy and sector-structural dynamics provided by new service and product design opportunities and by lowering market entry barriers caused by digital platforms or local transaction systems.
  • Protecting privacy and consumer interests, e.g. when state offices and private companies process personal data and information.
  • New approaches and methods in training, e.g. through interactive, multimedia teaching/learning services that are available anywhere (interface with the KENT field of research).