Strategizing Digital Transformations: Sensing Threats and Opportunities with the Digital Disruption Analysis


  • Malte Diekmann TU Braunschweig
  • Leonhard Voß TU Braunschweig
  • Fynn-Hendrik Paul Universität Osnabrück
  • Reza Asghari TU Braunschweig



digital disruption, digital transformation, technology foresight, business environment analysis, weak signal analysis


Managers need to navigate the increasing complexity of their business environments due to emerging technological developments and digital disruption. Strategic threats and opportunities to their business must constantly be assessed, but organizations often lack the time and resources to develop a structured approach. With the Digital Disruption Analysis, Voß et al. (2020) published a systematic methodology to assess emerging innovations and to derive digital transformation strategies. In this paper, the Digital Disruption Analysis is tested with technology foresight experts of an established enterprise in the energy sector and improved in an iterative approach. In an initial application, opportunities for improvement are identified through participatory observation and direct feedback. Then, the Digital Disruption Analysis is revised and applied again in the same company to assess the improvements, using the same evaluation method and an additional qualitative questionnaire. The main adaptations of the Digital Disruption Analysis are the integration of a weak signal analysis based on data and text mining approach to identify relevant emerging innovations, the integration of a multidimensional digital disruption scoring model, and a new Trajectory Mapping approach. The experts note improved applicability and overall enhanced functionality of the revised Digital Disruption Analysis. Our findings contribute to future research on applicable management tools for digital transformations and serve as a foundation for understanding the nature of digital disruptions and how they can be identified and monitored.

Author Biographies

Malte Diekmann, TU Braunschweig

Malte Diekmann is a Technical Product Owner at a cyber security company and graduated in Technology-oriented Management at TU Braunschweig. He worked in business practice in the field of corporate foresight for a longer period. His main research interests are innovation management, technology foresight as well as digital transformation.

Leonhard Voß, TU Braunschweig

Leonhard Voß is a research associate at the Entrepreneurship Hub of TU Braunschweig and Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences. In his research, he develops management tools for digital transformation in SMEs. He holds a master's degree in Technology-oriented Management. Professionally, he is committed to promoting international entrepreneurship in Germany. 

Fynn-Hendrik Paul, Universität Osnabrück

Fynn-Hendrik Paul is a research assistant and doctoral student at the University Osnabrück. He researches on maturity models and barriers in the context of digital business transformation processes. During his studies in Technology-oriented Management at the TU Braunschweig, he co-founded a company that develops digital technologies for the energy and mobility sector.

Reza Asghari, TU Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Reza Asghari is chair of the Entrepreneurship Hub of TU Braunschweig and Ostfalia University of applied Sciences. He earned his doctorate in 1997 at the Institute of Economics at the TU Braunschweig. He is the author of numerous publications in the field of high-tech innovation, entrepreneurship and e-government.