Digital Innovation Business Models

Digital Innovation for Your Business Model

The Digital Innovation Pack enables organizations to explore pathways to digital innovation. The patterns are based on a study by Felix Braun and René Bohnsack. Objectives of this study were the creation of a taxonomy for digital innovation patterns, which can be used by academics, scholars and business managers. Besides finding existing patterns in the academic literature as well as practice-oriented studies, a standardized definition for the existing patterns was the goal.

Behind the Scenes

The background study, which discovered the digital innovation (DI) patterns, worked with the ‘modified-Delphi card sort’ approach by Paul (2008). The key characteristic of this methodology is the combination of the forecasting technique Delphi and card sorting. To conduct the study and to develop a taxonomy for DI patterns, five steps were necessary. First, relevant publications were identified through a detailed literature analysis. Basis for this identification step was a literature review conducted by Hanelt et al. (2018) who found 205 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 1982 and 2017 dealing with the topic DI. Furthermore, relevant practice-oriented studies which deal with DI were identified. After searching for BM patterns in these articles, a list of publications containing DI patterns for BMI was created.


The second step of the overall methodology was to extract all patterns described in the literature and organize them in a standardized way. Before these patterns were written down in standardized form, duplicates and irrelevant patterns were eliminated. In a third step, all identified patterns were organized into self-defined groups by two seed participants/ two experts from the DI domain. Lastly, seven experts were asked to conduct a card sorting activity with the aim to create a common opinion across the experts about the patterns and pattern classification. The final outcome of this whole approach is a pattern taxonomy which can be used by users, academics and practitioners.

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Useful For

  • Preparing your company for digital innovation
  • Creating digital startups
  • Teaching digital innovation

About the Creators

René Bohnsack is Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Católica-Lisbon and International Faculty Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management. He studies the diffusion of technologies as well as how business models can accelerate this process. Dr. Bohnsack has published his research in the best international innovation and management journals such as Research Policy, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Product Innovation Management, California Management Review or Technovation. Next to the academic accomplishments, René co-founded several start-ups.

Felix Braun is a master graduate from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and was a research fellow at the Smart City Innovation Lab. He holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Technical University of Vienna. His current research focuses on digital transformation and business model innovation.

How It Works

Use the Pattern Pack to Build your Business Model

The Smart Business Modeler allows you to explore the different suitable business model patterns, gives you guidance and relevant information.

Business Model Patterns

Wizards Guide You Through The Process

Every time you drag&drop a pattern onto your business model canvas, our ‘wizards’ will indicate, which elements of your business model should follow that patterns’ logic and automatically insert the pattern where it is most-suitable.

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