Optimizing Operations With Digital Tools

The digitalisation of products and services is becoming a vital element of business processes. However, the impact it has on performance of companies is not completely understood. In this study the Italian startup community is examined to determine their digital behaviour. The adoption of intra-organizational as well inter-organizational electronic infrastructures is analyzed. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, the results of manual analysis (Step 3), computer-assisted analysis (Step 4) and confirmation analysis (Step 5) are triangulated to determine the most important factors influencing the digital behavior of Italian startups.

The analysis of data shows that, on average Italian startups are using 1.23 digital infrastructures that are inter-organizational and 1.75 intra-organizational digital infrastructures. It is also clear that the adoption of digital infrastructures by Italian startups is limited. On average there are only two inter-organizational networks that are utilized and 68% of the analyzed startups have only adopted one intra-organizational network.

These findings suggest that a large majority of Italian startup companies exhibit digital follower behaviour rather than developing digital leader behavior. This could be due to the fact that, despite being enrolled into the Startup Act initiative, they haven’t yet reached an age at which they are able to adopt digital leadership strategies. It is for this reason that it is recommended to the government that they implement new policies aimed at encouraging the digitalization of the Italian Startup Ecosystem. This could include, for example, public financial incentives aimed at the digitalisation of startups.

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