Excerpt from course description

Digitalization in Practice: Digital Technology and Business Transformation


In 2018, eight of the top ten global brands were entirely or partially platform-oriented companies including Alibaba, Apple, Amazon, Google, etc according to the ranking provided by Brandz. Platform business models are fast becoming the gold child of the digital revolution that are profoundly transforming people, societies, and the business landscape. Given the growing presence of digital technologies, its rate of change, and its importance in business strategy, developing digital capabilities is essential for companies’ success. Successful companies like DiDi, Alibaba, Vipshop were born digital and are leading digital platform businesses in China, while others, like Suning, JD.com, adapted platform strategies and transformed their business model. In this course, students will learn about how digital platforms and how they transform business. Students will learn to analyze the opportunities and threats of digital platforms for their companies. Students will also learn about changes implied for organizations engaged the transformation process, to leading digital transformation, to designing and managing new ways of working for platform organizations.

Course content

Throughout the four consecutive days of class meetings, students will gain a fundamental understanding of digital transformation via platform strategies. On Day 1, students will learn about the current digital business landscape, what digital platform is about, the potential opportunities and threats a platform business model may come along. The students will analyze the feasibility to transform a case organization of their choice to a platform business model. On Day 2, students will base on the digital platform idea that they come up on Day 1 and design the platform vision and how the platform may look like using the Design Thinking method. On Day 3 and 4, students will learn about what capabilities (i.e., digital and leadership capabilities) it takes to transform an organization. Students will apply the digital platform idea and outline an agile organizational structure and an action plan for the transformation process.

Day 1:
The platform economy: Transiting to digital models
• Define platform businesses and their associated ecosystems
• Current common characteristics and success factors of digital platforms
• Emergence of platform management and its role in digitalization

Day 2:
Designing digital platforms: Design thinking methods
• Empathize: understanding processes to observe and engage with users to uncover their needs
• Define: reframing, mapping and designing user experiences
• Ideate: sketching out and prioritizing ideas
• Prototype: storyboards and fast fails
• Test: understand impediments and what works
• Building an app

Day 3:
The digital workforce: Designing work in the platform economy
• Understanding what capabilities it takes to transform an organization
• Building technology leadership capabilities and mobilize the organization
• Redesign jobs to align with change
• Trends of work and types of labor: traditional corporate, platform, aspirational
• Building agile project management teams

Day 4:
Defining a digital transformation roadmap
• Systemic changes needed to achieve digital maturity
• Connecting with other platforms
• Virtual teams as a means to recruit talents and enable organizational agility
As part of the course, students are required to build their own app based on the case organization they have chosen to analyze and to outline an action plan to transform.


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.