Business model innovations (BMIs) are one of the key activities organizations must undertake to survive and thrive. As information systems (IS) penetrate more and more aspects of life, they become an important factor affecting both the process and the outcome of business model innovations. The increased importance of IS in a growing number of industries has led various researchers to focus on examining the role of IS in innovation. However, these insights concentrate on process, product, and service innovations, while business model innovations encompass characteristics that are fundamentally different from these. Therefore, in this paper we use a rigorous taxonomy-building approach to uncover the distinct roles IS play in this important endeavor, employing a meta-perspective and drawing from documented empirical research on business model innovations. We found that IS act, first, as enablers of business model innovation, second, as capabilities in the business model innovation process, and third, as frames of reference for business model innovations. Our findings indicate that IS are thus both operand and operant resources in business model innovations. Hence, business managers must be aware of all of these roles, as they could have transformative impacts in every industry.
Hanelt, Andre; Hildebrandt, Björn; and Polier, Jan, "Uncovering the Role of IS in Business Model Innovation - A Taxonomy-driven Approach to Structure the Field" (2015). ECIS 2015 Completed Research Papers. Paper 71.