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Optimizing Operations With Digital Tools

The digitization of products and services is becoming an integral part of all business processes. However, the impact of digitalisation on company performance is still not completely understood. In this study, Italian startups are studied to understand their digital habits. Particularly, the use of inter-organizational and intra-organizational infrastructures are considered. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, the results of manual analysis (Step 3) as well as computer-assisted analysis (Step 4), and confirmation analysis (Step 5) are triangulated to identify the most significant factors affecting the digital behavior of Italian startups.

The data analysis shows that the average, Italian startups use 1,23 interorganizational and 1,75 intra-organizational networks. It can also be seen that the utilization of these digital infrastructures is sporadic: on average, almost eighty percent of the Italian startups have no more than two of the inter-organizational digital systems considered and 68% of the startups have only adopted less than one of the intra-organizational digital infrastructures.

These findings suggest that the vast majority of Italian startups exhibit a digital follower behaviour rather than advancing digital leadership. This could be due to the fact that despite being enrolled in the Startup Act initiative, they haven’t yet reached the point where they can adopt digital leadership strategies. In this regard, it is recommended that the government adopts new policies aimed at facilitating the digitalization of the Italian startup ecosystem. This could include as an example, public financial incentives to encourage digitalisation of startups.

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April 5, 2024

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