The Digital Transformation of Automotive Businesses

Three Artefacts to Support Digital Service Provision and Innovation

Past event — 30 January 2019

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg, Room EE Lecture 2

Spoken language

Profile image

Dr. Marcus Grieger

Engagement Manager

McKinsey & Company

View profile


Digitalisation and increasing competitive pressure drive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to switch their focus towards the provision of digital services, and to open-up towards increased collaboration and customer integration. This shift implies a significant transformational change from product to product-service providers, in which OEMs have to realign themselves within strategic, business and procedural dimensions.

Thus, OEMs have to manage digital transformation (DT) processes in order to stay competitive and remain adaptable to changing customer demands. However, OEMs aspiring to become participants or leaders in their domain, struggle to initiate activities as there is a lack of applicable instruments that can guide and support them during this process. Compared to the practical importance of DT, empirical studies are not comprehensive. This study proposes three artefacts, validated within case companies that intend to support automotive OEMs in digital service provisioning. Artefact one, a layered conceptual model for a digital automotive ecosystem, was developed by means of 26 expert interviews. It can serve as a useful instrument for decision makers to strategically plan and outline digital ecosystems. Artefact two is a conceptual reference framework for automotive service systems. The artefact was developed based on an extensive literature review, and the mapping of the business model canvas to the service system domain. The artefact intends to assist OEMs in the efficient conception of digital services under consideration of relevant stakeholders and the necessary infrastructures. Finally, artefact three proposes a methodology by which to transform software readiness assessment processes to fit into the agile software development approach taking into account the existing operational infrastructure.

Overall, the findings contribute to the empirical body of knowledge about the digital transformation of manufacturing industries. The results suggest value creation for digital automotive services occurs in networks among interdependent stakeholders in which customers play an integral role during the services’ life-cycle. The findings further indicate the artefacts as being useful instruments, however, success is dependent on the integration and collaboration of all contributing departments.


Marcus Grieger is a PhD candidate in the field of information systems at the Kühne Logistics University. He holds a diploma in industrial engineering from the Technische Universität Dresden specialising in the automotive and energy domains. Additionally, he spent a semester at the University of León in Spain, where he studied economic sustainability and marketing. Prior to this, he worked at the Chair of Information Management at the University of Leipzig on third-party funded research projects and as a business consultant, advising small and medium-sized enterprises. Marcus' research at KLU focuses on business model innovation for the digitalised automotive industry, where he investigates information-based services within vehicle ecosystems.


Profile image

Birgit Kappert

Program Manager