Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)

Digital value creation in German SMEs : a return-on-investment analysis

  • Implementation of digital technologies requires financial resources to create value. These resources are more limited in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and digital use cases or best practices are not well known. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how SME managers are adding value and achieving a measurable return on investment (ROI) by using certain digital technologies. The results of this study were derived from 48 in-depth expert interviews conducted within cross-sectoral SMEs in Germany. The findings showed a set of 57 ROIs based on multiple digital use cases. Here, digital solutions either increased revenue through higher sales and new business models or cut operational expenditure (OPEX) and personnel costs. This study’s weighted digital ROI average was 33.77, with a median of 5.29. The results emphasize the need to implement digital solutions, offer robust guidelines to support SMEs with their digitization strategy and help measure the tangible value of digital projects. Moreover, the suggested technologies and added value can be used as benchmarks. As this study examines the impact of digital transformation on SMEs’ business performance, the research is novel, and the presented ROI calculations are original. The findings enrich the literature on entrepreneurial SMEs.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Search Google Scholar


Document Type:Article
Author:Paul PfisterORCiD, Claudia Lehmann
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Digital Innovation in Service Industries
Parent Title (English):Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Year of Completion:2022
First Page:1
Last Page:26
Tag:Added value; Digital technologies; Digitisation; ROI; SME
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:AJG Ranking / 1
VHB Ranking / C
SJR Ranking / Q2
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt