Background: socio-technical structures that were previously mediated

Background:  Digital technologies have been transforming the way firms work across the industries continuously. Due to the features inherent in digital technologies, firms expect to increase their capabilities such as responsiveness, innovativeness and competitiveness by digitalizing their business processes and align with today’s rapidly changing business environment. Digitalization can be described as “the transformation of socio-technical structures that were previously mediated by non-digital artifacts or relationships into ones that are mediated by digitized artifacts and relationships” (Nylen et al., 2014, p- 55). Our society has become more digitalized in last decade than ever, it is due to the introduction of smartphones, smart sensors, consumerization and internet of things (IoT) also known as lightweight IT (Bygstad, 2015). The current wave of digitalization is different in sense that it is driven by the users and it has significantly influenced the processes, business models and services (C. Legner el al., 2017).  Current digitalization wave empowered by lightweight IT is creating new opportunities and challenges for scholars and practitioners likewise (Rana et al., 2015). As it is predicted by Gartner (2014), that by 2020 there will be 26 billion connected devices with the potential estimated economic impact ranging from USD 2 trillion to more than USD 14 trillion (Burkitt, 2014), which is causing firms of all kinds to rethink their business models and are investigating on how to implement IoT (Burkitt, 2014).     Many IT functions are currently not optimally set up for the challenges of the current wave of digitalization. To overcome these challenges of digitization, the IT function must undergo a change that comprises new modes of internal organization as well as new forms of collaboration and alignment with business departments (C. Legner et al., 2017) Aim: Lightweight IT is radically changing almost every industry in its wake creating new opportunities and challenges. Therefore, this research intends to study what are the effects of lightweight IT on digitalization process, especially in the context of digital innovation, digital platforms and ecosystems. Henceforth, following questions are set as guide line for research.   How lightweight IT and heavyweight IT can be integrated, technically and organizationally to get most of it? (Governance framework for managing lightweight IT). How digital platform should be designed in the face of new emerging technologies (Lightweight IT)? How do the nature and characteristics of lightweight IT shape or influences the use of digital tools and digital platforms? How should a firm organize for digital innovation empowered by lightweight IT, when its partners and their contribution is diverse, unknown?       Methodology: Governance model  Expected outcome:   Related Research: Lightweight IT:  Lightweight IT is the new pattern of mobile apps, smart sensors and bring-your-own-device, also called consumerization or Internet of Things. Lightweight IT is cheap and easily available technology but these are not the only drivers compelling its rapid adoption, it is because lightweight IT’s deployment process is done frequently by users or vendors, bypassing the IT departments (Bygstad, 2015). Furthermore, recently IT-based innovation increasingly is being conducted by non-IT professionals. While on other hand the well-established traditional large systems, deployed through sophisticated and advance integration are categorized as heavyweight IT (Bygstad, 2017).  There is great difference when it comes to the development culture of the lightweight IT and heavyweight IT. Heavyweight IT’s culture is more professionalized while lightweight IT is more leaned towards innovation arena (BergvallKåreborn and Howcroft, 2011). That’s why lightweight IT usually act on the presentation layer and heavyweight IT interact on business logic and data access layer ((Lacity and Willcocks, 2015)). Due to these properties of lightweight IT depends highly on heavyweight IT as platform and data repository, on other hand heavyweight IT’s dependency on lightweight IT is not obvious, but heavyweight IT depends on lightweight IT for innovation and organizational agility (Bygstad, 2017). There are several unresolved issues concerning lightweight IT and heavyweight IT interplay, they are in the form of technological (IT security and privacy) and organizational challenges (Bygstad, 2017). To address these issues (Bygstad and Iden, 2017) have presented a governance models for managing lightweight IT, their framework consists of four models and these models can be used in combination depending on needs and requirements of organization.  Framework is created through the analysis of four cases of health care sector, it can be used outside the health sector but further research is needed from different sectors to make it more general. (make it little more better) Moreover, much research has explored the technical aspect of lightweight IT (IoT) in detail, it has mostly ignored the business implications of lightweight IT (Saarikko et al., 2016).  Digital Platform: There is a vast research on platform notion from non-digital perspective. It can be seen from Gawer and Cusumano (2002), where they have discussed how companies could organize activities and compete through platforms; Evans and Schmalensee (2016) and Parker et al. (2016) provide multiple perspectives on how platforms are shaping business and organizational models. The concepts and notions from platform research can be used for digital platform but they will not suffice as digital platform are different in many ways (Yoo et al., 2010). Digital platforms are changing the entire landscape of IS field (Rightsoren 2017), especially with the introduction of lightweight IT. Digital platforms have changed the user interactions with organizations by providing online communities of consumers (Spagnoletti et al., 2015). Inter-organizational relations of IS development are also changing (Ghazawneh and Henfridsson, 2013; Eaton et al., 2015).  A platform can be defined as a “core of fixed set of attributes that can be extended by modules that permit user customization” (Sarrikko et al., 2016, p-5168). While digital platform can be characterized as a sociotechnical assemblage surrounding the technical elements (of software and hardware) and associated organizational processes and standards (de Reuver et al., 2017). A digital ecosystem is an interdependent group of enterprises, people and things that share standardized digital platforms for a mutually beneficial purpose, it allows you to interact with customers, partners, adjacent industries (Gartner, 2017). The study of digital platforms requires examining the ecosystems that surrounds them (de Reuver et al.,2017), as vibrant and active ecosystem is essential for a digital platform (Sørensen, 2013). Previous research has partially answered the concerns regarding digital platform, there are still several challenges/issues concerning digital platform, especially due to the growth in lightweight IT. These challenges are in the form of 1) Clarity of the scope 2) Scope and 3) Methodological issues.Firms are not isolated anymore, and value is co-created and co-delivered by multiple contributing entities. New theories and models that capture, explain and predict the potentially disruptive nature of digital platforms are needed (de Reuver et al.,2017). Also, there is lack of understanding regarding platform emergence (Thomas et al. 2014; de Reuver et al., 2017). Other gap in research is that, there is need to understand a wider variety of ecosystem actors may add to the dynamics of digital platforms, as much focus is given to present platform owners and third-party developers (Skog et al., 2018).       Digital Innovation: Digital innovation is at the center of digitalization, as digitalization has increased its pace most firms seek to achieve business goals through digital technologies and digital innovation (Nylen, 2015). Yoo et al (2010, p-725) define digital innovation as “the carrying out of new combinations of digital and physical components to produce novel products”. IS researchers have conducted many studies regarding digital innovation these studies can be seen in (e.g. Henfridsson and Yoo (2014), Dougherty and Dunne (2012), Westergren and Holmström (2012), Henfridsson et al. (2014)). To study the digital innovation phenomena there are number of frameworks available, Yoo et al. (2010) has created the conceptual framework to describe the emerging organizing logic of digital innovation; Nylen and Holmstrom (2015) has created the managerial framework for digital innovation strategy, it helps firms to gain a whole view of digital innovation, across three dimensions; the firm’s products, its digital environment, and organizational properties. Studies concerning digital innovation still do not provide a solid answer to how firms can address competing concerns of (capability, focus, collaboration, and governance) caused by lightweight IT as they embrace digital innovation (Svahn et al.,2017). There is little to no empirical studies addressing these four concerns in the same digital innovation context. Svahn et al (2017) are the first to study these concerns in same digital innovation settings in their long case study of Volvo Cars’ connected car initiative. They have only provided the partial answer to why these concerns emerge and how they can be managed, as their study is a single case of one digitalization project, it cannot be generalized for other incumbent firms. Svahn et al (2017) have opened the door for further research that could unearth patterns and tools for better understanding and managing concerns incumbent firms face as they embrace digital innovation. Add gap regarding when partners are ill defined there is lack of theories to address digital innovation.    References:  Skog, D., Wimelius, H. and Sandberg, J., 2018. Digital Service Platform Evolution: How Spotify Leveraged Boundary Resources to Become a Global Leader in Music Streaming. In Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)(pp. 4564-4573).  Sørensen, C., 2013. Digital platform and-infrastructure innovation. Mobile Strategy Challenges (In Japanese). H. Higashikuni (ed). Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd. Tokyo.